Monday, June 29, 2020

Show Me Your Books - June

*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 was able to read quite a bit since I read two books on my Graeagle trip and had a few come up in my digital library. I really enjoyed all of the books and I am hoping that I can keep up with reading at least four books a month. Enjoy!

Never Never

I am a huge Colleen Hoover fan and I have one of Tarryn Fisher's books on hold, so this was on my list for awhile now. When it became available, I quickly read through book 1 or part 1. I didn't realize that this book was a three part series. So after I read part 1, I went looking for part 2 in my ebook library. It wasn't there, so I bought the series on Amazon for $2.99. Totally worth it.

This book grabs you right away. It is about two teenagers, Silas and Charlie, who are in love. They have loved each other most of their lives. One day they wake up or come to and they can't remember each other. They can't remember anyone. They know nothing about their lives other than the things that they reading and photography. They try to figure out what happened to them and if they can fall in love with each other again. Or if they really even want to fall in love again.

This book was really good. I wasn't sure if it had to do with something paranormal or an accident or what, but the more I read it, the more I wanted to know. I was happy with the ending and I know some reviews didn't like it. The total three parts is about 380 ish pages and it is a very quick read.

I would definitely recommend this book. I would give it 4 1/2 stars.

Here is Amazon's synopsis:

Charlize Wynwood and Silas Nash have been best friends since they could walk. They've been in love since the age of fourteen. But as of this morning...they are complete strangers. Their first kiss, their first fight, the moment they fell in love...every memory has vanished. "I don't care what our real first kiss was," he says. "That's the one I want to remember." Charlize and Silas must work together to uncover the truth about what happened to them and why. But the more they learn about the couple they used to be...the more they question why they were ever together to begin with. "I want to remember what it feels like to love someone like that. And not just anyone. I want to know what it feels like to love Charlie."

One of Us is Next: The Sequel to One of Us is Lying - Karen McManus

I read the first book a year or two ago and it was a very quick read. I had to read a summary of the first book before starting this one since it has some of the same characters and family of the characters in the first book. This book was similar in the format of the previous book. It goes back and forth between characters.

I won't spoil it, but someone dies and they are trying to figure out what happened and who has revived the vindictive forum that Simon used to post on. I thought I knew what happened and then I didn't, but at the back of my mind, I kept thinking that this one person had something to do with it and I was right. I just didn't have the whole story together. If you read the first book, this one is worth the read. It is a fun Summer read. I would rate it 3 1/2 to 4 stars.

Here is Amazon's synopsis:

Come on, Bayview, you know you've missed this.

A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one's been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts. 

Until now. 

This time it's not an app, though—it's a game. 

Truth or Dare.

Phoebe's the first target. If you choose not to play, it's a truth. And hers is dark. 

Then comes Maeve and she should know better—always choose the dare. 

But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it's that they can't count on the police for help. Or protection.

Simon's gone, but someone's determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there's a whole new set of rules.

Lock Me In - Kate Siman

I found this book through Amazon when I was waiting for another book to become available through my library. Turns out my library e-card expired during my trip and it took awhile to get my account merged and I lost all of my holds. So I have about 12 weeks until a book becomes available. Ugh. Anyways, I bought this book and got it on sale and it is still on sale for $2.99.

Lock Me In gripes you from the beginning. Ellie lives at home with her mother because she suffers from a sleep disorder. She breaks things or breaks out of her room at night and needs to be locked in every night. But Ellie is trying to live a normal life. She has a boyfriend, Matt, and a mother who would do anything for her. One morning, Ellie wakes up to see her door is broken in and she can't get ahold of her boyfriend whom she saw the night before. Ellie thinks she has done something to him, but as the story unfolds, you see just how crazy life really is for Ellie. 

The story goes back and forth between Ellie and a police officer name Mae (that is his last night and how he is referred to in the book). You find out the relationship between Ellie and Mae as they knew each other twelve years prior. 

I quickly read this book. But it takes place in England and so some of the descriptions were different than we are used to in the US. This usually doesn't bother me, but it did hinder how "quickly" I read it. But still, this book is definitely worth reading. I would give this book 4 1/2 stars.

Here is Amazon's synopsis:

By day, Ellie Power has a normal life. She has a stable home, a loving boyfriend, a future.
But at night, she suffers from a sleep disorder. She becomes angry, unpredictable, violent. Her mother locks Ellie in her bedroom every night, to keep them both safe.
Then one morning, Ellie wakes up, horrified to find the lock on her bedroom door smashed from the inside. She is covered in injuries, unable to remember anything about the night before.
And her boyfriend Matt is nowhere to be found…

Missing Molly - Natalie Barelli

This was another book that I purchased from Amazon that is also on sale. I got it for $3.99 (and it is still on sale). I read Natalie Barelli's The Housekeeper and loved that book. When I read the synopsis for this book. I knew it would be a quick read. And it was. 

Missing Molly is about, you guessed it, a girl name Molly who goes missing. Rachel Holloway is the main character in this book. She works at a dying newspaper and they need a way to revive the newspaper and last longer than the projected 6 ish weeks, so they come up with doing a podcast like Serial, except on the local girl who has been missing for twelve years, Molly. But Rachel is not ok with this idea as she is Molly.

As the newspaper uncovers more about the story, Rachel starts to freak out that everyone will find her/Molly. So what really did happen twelve years ago to make Molly go on the run?

I read this book in a day. It had me from page one and I had to know what happened. I started it while I was in Graeagle and finished it that day. This book gets 5 stars from me.

Here is Amazon's synopsis:

Everyone has secrets, and Rachel Holloway is no exception. She’s worked hard to keep the past where it belongs: dead and buried. And so far, she’s been very successful.

But now the small newspaper where she works wants to produce a podcast on a cold case: the disappearance twelve years ago of young Molly Forster.
Some secrets should never see the light of day, and as far as Rachel is concerned, whatever happened to little Molly is one of them. Rachel has a life now, a boyfriend she loves and a three-year-old daughter she adores, and she will do anything to protect them.

But to do that, no one can ever know that she is Molly Forster.

What did you read this month? Any good recommendations?

Friday, June 26, 2020

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.

Another week in quarantine down. I know I will be home for another two weeks, but I am sure it will be until August or even later before I go back into the office. Work has been a little chaotic this week, but I survived. And this was my first week without Rory being here. He is back in the office, but his new office. He is really enjoying his new job!

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

Some of my favorites this week are things that happened last weekend that I never got a chance to talk about. Enjoy!

ONE. Last Friday night, I took Rory out to dinner for his birthday...that was in March. With the restaurants being closed or only open for take out for months, we were not able to go out to dinner for Rory's birthday. But I finally got to take him out. We went to a local Italian place that has the best mushroom raviolis.
Bruscetta with a smoked salami, pesto, fennel, olive oil and arugula.

Mushroom ravioli
Mushroom Ravioli

Octopus Risotto
Octopus Risotto

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Caramel, Fruit and Cocoa Nibs
Vanilla Panna Cotta with Caramel, Fruit and Cocoa Nibs

TWO. Saturday we tried to go to Sand Harbor, but we arrived 6 minutes after they opened and there was a long line. We got up to the front of the line with four cars ahead of us and then they closed the parking lot due to Covid. They have cut the capacity in half.

So we headed to another beach, but with the long hike down, that wouldn't work with all the gear we had and the girls wearing sandals. So then we called Rory's cousin and went to their house to game plan. She ended up taking us to another beach a mile and a half away and it was a huge hit. We hadn't been there in a few years, but it is a great sandy beach. Plus we saw a bunch of my friends there. Totally unplanned, but we were able to hang out with them all day!
Moondunes beach Lake Tahoe

Moondunes beach Lake Tahoe
This was about 10 am and it got crazy packed after.

THREE. Sunday morning when we were getting ready, Sutton was brushing her teeth and when she spit her toothpaste out, she spit her other bottom tooth out and it went down the drain. Or at least that is when we believe she lost it. She was devastated and thought the tooth fairy wouldn't come that night, so we wrote her a note explaining what happened. She took the note and left money for Sutton. Now both bottom teeth are out and now her adult teeth have more room. They were coming in for a couple of weeks now.

FOUR. Sunday was Father's Day and we started the day off with giving Rory his presents. The girls made him letters with a picture of themselves and a questionnaire that they did with their teachers. It was so cute.

I gave Rory a golf/beach/everyday hat. It is from Melin. It floats in the water, is water resistant, has a hidden pocket inside to hold your money, is durable and breathable.
Melin A-Game Hydro Hat

We got my dad the massager everyone has been talking about. You can use it on your neck, back, stomach, calves, etc. Now I want one.
Shiatsu Massager

FIVE. Then we went to the park for a brunch picnic.

After the picnic, we went back home so Rory could relax, read and take a nap. Then we went out to the mall to get out, but beat the heat since it was 93 degrees that day. Then we headed to sushi per Rory's request.

Sushi was amazing and both girls tried some raw bites. Avery had one and Sutton had three. Sutton really liked the salmon roll!

I am linking up with A Little Bit of Everything and Becky. Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

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.

Has anyone else felt like they are falling behind? I know I have felt that way. I am behind on blog reading. I am behind on household chores. I am behind on my reading. And I am just behind. Hopefully things level out soon.

Anyways, onto this month's What's Up Wednesday...What's Up Wednesday
Sunday: We went out to sushi for Father's Day.
BLTA's with fries.
Coconut Lime Veggies with Brown Rice
Wednesday: Homemade pizza and salad.
Thursday: Sweet potato nachos
Friday: Take out because I am getting my hair done in the evening.
Saturday: I am going out to dinner with a friend that I haven't seen since last year. Rory and the girls will have take-out or something like grilled sausages at home.

WHAT I'M REMINISCING ABOUT... Vacations past. Seeing my friends more.

WHAT I'M LOVING... We went to the beach for the first time this year last weekend and it was just what my soul needed.
Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO...I am pretty much doing the same thing I have the last three, almost four months. We have been going on walks, getting outdoors, working from home, cooking a lot, and seeing friends and family a little bit.

The girls went back to school on June 1st and they have been loving it. 

We also went to Graeagle at the beginning of this month.

We celebrated Father's Day.

And we went to the beach for the first time all year. We have been up to Tahoe several times, but we haven't been to the beach nor in the water until last weekend. It was really cold, but so worth it!

WHAT I'M DREADING... I am sort of dreading going back into work. We have been out for so long that I am so used to working from home and living this life now. It will definitely be an adjustment and I am sure Walter won't be that thrilled.

WHAT I'M WORKING ON... Well, I recently starting running again. I am not sure how often I will run, but I know that I want to try to do it a little more. I started off with just running about 100 yards and then have been working my way up from there. I am only at 3 mile runs at a time, but it feels good to get back out there. 

I am also trying to get ahead on my blog posts, so I can enjoy Summer a bit more.

WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT... Rory starting his new job as a mortgage loan originator. It is officially Summer. And things are slowly getting back to normal.

WHAT I'M WATCHING/READING... Once again, I read a bunch of book this last month. That post is coming on Monday, so stay tuned.

We have been watching Schitt's Creek, 13 Reasons Why season 4 (is anyone else watching it? This season is weird.), Top Chef, Million Dollar Listing LA, Dirty John season 2, The Bold Type and a few others. We need some show recommendations, so please send them my way.

Speaking of Schitt's Creek, I bought a Rose Apothecary Shirt on Etsy and I had to share it. If you love Schitt's Creek, then you know.


WHAT I'M WEARING... I have been living in shorts, sandals, my converse and dresses. It will definitely be weird when I do go back into the office and I have to wear business casual attire. Here are some of my recent favorites.

AE Henley Tank Top
AE Henley Tank Top (I have this tank in 3 colors now and I wear them all weekly)

WHAT I'M DOING THIS WEEKEND... We are going to be spending it at home mostly. I do have a dinner out with a friend Saturday evening and maybe sneak another beach day in Sunday?!

WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH... July doesn't bring anything unusual, but I am looking forward to more beach days and more friend time.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Behind the Blogger

I am joining in on the fun that Kate and a few others have been doing. It has been quite awhile since I reintroduced myself or did a behind the blogger series and since I have some new faces around here, I thought I would join in. So....

I'm Danielle, the blogger behind Sparkles and Lattes. I started this blog when I was planning my wedding. I love all things sparkly and I am a latte fanatic. Hence the blog name. I have thought about changing my blog name to my name or something else, but then everyone tells me that I already created that brand and that's how they know me. So it stays.

But here are some little highlights about me.

- I have identical twin girls. Growing up, I had always said I wanted twins. I had twin friends and was fascinated by them, but then when I "grew up", I thought about actually having twins (birthing them and raising them) and decided that one at a time would be plenty. But god had other plans.

- I majored in Information Systems. I have always loved computers and web design and thought it was a natural progression, but later on, I wish that I had went into nursing like I had wanted to when I was growing up.

- I have a chiweenie who is 8 1/2 and such a love bug. We have had a few scares with Walter this year and I am really hoping that we are done with Walter scares.

- I love to drink scotch. One of my friends introduced scotch to me many years ago. First, he had me try more of the floral/sweeter ones. Like ones with a honey or vanilla undertones. Once I acquired a taste for those, I was willing to try many others. Even the super smokey/tobacco. Though those are still not my favorite.
Edradour scotch tour

- I am kind of a champagne snob, so when I went to France, I was worried about having champagne and getting headaches (the cheap stuff always gives me a headache), but even the cheaper (8 Euros a glass) ones NEVER gave me a headache.

- Speaking of travel, I travel a lot for work and that is my favorite part of my job. I have been all over the world and seen so many places that I would have never seen on my own. One year, I went to 11 countries for work. Traveling has my heart and it is one of my favorite things to do.

- I met my husband at work. Clique, I know. But after spending 13 1/2 years working together, he starts a new career today.

- We are celebrating 7 years of marriage in August.
Genoa Lakes Golf Wedding

- Music is my release. It gets me through everything in life. When I am happy, sad, mad, upset, scared, etc., I turn to music. It calms me down immediately.

- I am double jointed in my thumbs. Totally random, but something different about me.

- I have had 9 surgeries since having my girls. 

- I have only lived in Nevada my whole life.

- Lake Tahoe is one of my most favorite places ever.
Sand Harbor Lake Tahoe

- I will 37 this year, but I seriously forget my age all the time. Someone asks me my age and I usually say 35. I don't know why I am stuck at that age, but I have to really think about my age as I get older.

- I love being outdoors. From camping to hiking to spending the day at the beach. Being outside is my jam. But I have also found that this quarantine has definitely shown how much I love being indoors.

- I love working out. I may not like it as I am doing it (unless it is spin class), but I love it after. I used to love running, but my nose issues became a major problem and I almost passed out running. I stopped running after that, but I have recently ran a few times during quarantine. I miss my old spin class and I have been begging my husband to get us a pelaton ever since.

- Speaking of jobs, I am a Senior Agent in Investigations for the Nevada Gaming Control Board. I have been working there for almost 14 years.

- I am left handed and I was secretly hoping that one of my children would be left handed, but sadly, they are both right handed. Recently, when I was golfing, workers at the golf course couldn't believe that I was a left handed female golfer. Apparently, we are pretty rare.

- I have been blogging for 7 years now. I have had my ups and downs with it. I used to blog 5 days a week, but I felt like my content was suffering, so I cut back to 3 times a week and that doesn't always happen.

- I grew up a military brat.

And that's just a few things about me. What else do you want to know?
Friday, June 19, 2020

Friday Favorites

*This post contains affiliate links. When you click a link, it is no cost to you and I make a small commission (pennies) from it. Thank you for supporting Sparkles and Lattes.

We are still working from home right now, but Rory goes into his new office on Monday and I will be home with my pup, Walter. I am not sure how much longer we will be working from home, but I am guessing it will be at least until August.

This week was hard to get back into the groove of things after having last week off in Graeagle, but we survived and are looking forward to this weekend. Maybe even get up to Lake Tahoe and go to the beach. Tonight, we are celebrating Rory's birthday dinner...only three months late. Date night and birthday celebration call for dressing up!

Anyways, onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. When I got back from Graeagle, I knew there was a few items that I needed from Ulta...a moisturizer, a setting spray or my setting powder, and my eyeshadow primer. I hit up Ulta since I had a coupon for there. This was the first time I have been in since the store had shut down and they were out of a lot of items since they hadn't gotten a shipment in the last month that they have been open. There were supposed to get one this week, but I was already in there shopping. 

I did get a setting spray (for travel and to try something new), the eyeshadow primer and my favorite eyeshadow since I can never find it anymore at Sephora. But here is what I purchased. And I am really glad that I held off on the moisturizer since Tarte had a deal where you buy 7 items for $63 and you get over $200 worth of full sized products.

I had never tried this setting spray until this week and I really like it. My make-up stays on all day and doesn't need refreshing at all.

TWO. As I mentioned above, Tarte had this sale they do each year where you can get 7 full sized items for $63. You pick an item from each category like eyes, face, lip, etc. and put together a combination and then pick a bag as your last item. I have usually pass on this, but I wanted the Baba Bomb Moisturizer (from when I was at Ulta and they didn't have it) and that is $39 alone. Plus I love the Lights Camera Lashes mascara and that basically covered the entire cost of the order. 

Here is what I ordered:
Babassu Foundcealer I have never used this foundation/concealer, but I have heard good things about it. I had to guess on my color, but I used a color match program that Sephora offers, so I hope it is close to my color.

Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer This is another product that I haven't used, but I love a good bronzer and this one gets really good reviews.

Double Take Eyeliner I use all sorts of brands when it comes to eyeliner. I don't wear eyeliner everyday, but I can't wait to try this one.

Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara This is an amazing mascara. I have been using this one for about 6 months now and I LOVE it. I have tried countless mascaras and they either irritate my eyes or just don't give me the volume and wow factor that I look for. This one does and I won't be changing it up anytime soon.

H2O Gloss I almost bought this stuff during the Sephora Spring sale, but I just didn't want to spend the extra money. But then it was available in the kit and I bought one of the fan favorite colors Room Service.

Baba Bomb This is the moisturizer that I wanted to buy from Ulta that was sold out, so I got it in this kit and I can't wait to try it. The only thing it doesn't have is spf, but I have a lotion that I use daily to cover that.

THREE. Last weekend we went to my dear friend, Ashley's daughters 1st birthday party. The theme was rainbows and All You Need Is Love and it couldn't have been any cuter. We went as a family and had a great time. The girls got to play with friends and we got to see our friends. Total win!

FOUR. This week we got some concrete laid beside our house. We used to have a garden here, but it was hard to maintain the soil quality over here. Now we have all of our garden items in old wine barrels. 

Rory has been wanting to do this for years now and we finally did it with some leftover money from our renovation. Now we just need to rebuild the fence and put a bunch of stuff from the garage on this side of the house.

FIVE. Weekly funnies.

I am linking up with A Little Bit of Everything and Becky. Have a great weekend!