Friday, April 16, 2021

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.

Happy Friday all!

ONE. I posted this on my IG, but I wanted to post it here. Please get your skin checked yearly. And if you find a spot in between your appointments that worries you, call in and get it checked out. 

After Mexico, I had some minor peeling. I wore sunscreen religiously, but when you are in the sun for a week straight, it happens. After we got back, the peeling started and was quickly gone. I just lathered up in lotion and it was fine. Then I noticed a scab on my shoulder. That was there for several days until it finally came off after a shower. Then I had a "wound" where the scab was. It wouldn't go away. Not even with an antibiotic ointment. I started taking pictures of it and watching it progress. After almost a week with it still there, I called my dermatologist. She had me send in a picture of it and then they asked me to come in the next day.

After examining it, she said we should biopsy it just to make sure. So she numbed me up, and took a chunk of the area to be sent off. I am sure it is fine, but I didn't want to wait until my July appointment to have this looked at.

And good news all! I already got my results back and it came back negative/benign.

TWO. Remember how I purchased the girls Easter dresses at Old Navy? Well, I got some Super Cash and had to spend it. Ok, maybe I didn't have to spend it, but the girls needed some shorts for under their dresses for the Summer. We went through their clothes recently and donated a ton of old shorts that didn't fit. We usually get them from Old Navy and Primary, and since I had $20 to spend, I bought them three colors plus 4 dresses (2 for each). And I only spent $30 ish. The dresses are normally $10 each, but with the cash and sales going on, you can get them for a great deal.

Old Navy Tiered Knit Dress

Old Navy Short Sleeve Tiered Dress

Old Navy Jersey Biker Shorts
Old Navy Jersey Biker Shorts (I got them in black, white and gray)

THREE. Do you have a favorite pair of earrings or necklace? I have a pair of earrings that I absolutely love and cherish. And I bought them for myself. I have a pair of the classic Chanel CC earrings like the ones below. I got them around 15 years ago when I first started working at the Gaming Control Board. It was a treat to myself. Then in 2011 our house was robbed and they stole my earrings along with many pieces of jewelry that I would give anything to have back. So a few years later, I went on a work trip to Las Vegas and went into the Wynn and bought another pair. I loved them that much.

I still wear them all the time. And recently a friend introduced me to a website that takes vintage designer pieces and recreates them into new pieces. I love Chanel a lot, so I bought myself a necklace that I have been wearing daily.

Chanel Silver Crystal Earrings
Chanel Silver Crystal Earrings (Worth every penny two times!)

Ahava Jewels - Crystal Rope Chanel Necklace

And now I want this piece. Hint, hint Rory. Mother's Day is coming up!
The Bryn - Ahava Jewels

FOUR. This isn't the most flattering photo, but I had to share them. You know how much I love the Trader Joes mini cones? I usually buy 4 boxes and we go through them in a couple weeks. Well, they have a new flavor bean and it is heavenly. It has a chocolate cone with coffee bean ice cream and then a chocolate coating. Sooo good. You need to try these.

Hold the Cone Trader Joes Mini Cones

Hold the Cone Trader Joes Mini Cones

FIVE. Weekly funnies.


This happens several times a day.

I am great with a garden, but not indoor plants.

This is what my life is back to next week.

I would pay that.

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

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Mexico Days 6, 7 and 8

I am back for the last recap of our Mexico trip 2021. Today I am going to talk about days 6, 7 and 8 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday).

Thursday morning was our Covid tests. We were instructed not to eat anything which at the time seemed odd. Thankfully, we all had morning appointments. So we got ready, hung out for a bit and then went to have the tests. The test sucked. Avery and I went first. They had us put our heads against the wall and then took a brush and put it way up the nose and swirled it around. After having nose surgery, this felt horrible. Now I can see why they don't want you to eat anything for two hours prior...Rory gagged. Luckily, we all got through it and then headed to Fredy's Tucan for brunch.

After brunch, we stopped next door at the jewelry store that my MIL and I had been eyeing and then headed back to the condo. Rory had a bunch of work to do, so we took a rest for a bit and then headed out to let Rory work. With my in-laws and the girls, we walked the Melacon. We took pictures, bought some gifts and then had gelato.

At this point, we had been gone about 2 hours and headed back to the condo. We also got our Covid results and we were all negative! That meant that we could head home on Saturday. Then we all got ready, including Rory to head up to the pool for some swimming and diving by the girls.

Then around 5 pm, we headed back downstairs to our condo and got ready for dinner. We went to Casa Tradicional Cocina. We got tableside salsa, guacamole and then had a fajita's show which was fun for the girls to watch it all.

Cochinita Pibil

I got the cochinita pibil which is a slow roasted pork dish in banana leaves that is amazing. Sutton shared a bunch of mine and ate all of hers. She was a hungry girl. 

After dinner, Rory and I stayed a bit to finish our drinks and my in-laws took the girls back to the condo. We arrived about 30 minutes after they did. The girls went to bed, and we relaxed out on the patio.

Friday morning was our last full day in Puerto Vallarta, so we tried to make the best of it. We got pastries from a cute little mercado, had coffee out on the patio and caught up on work and emails.

Rory and I had massages at 10 am for an hour and a half. The girls hung out with my in-laws shopping, walking and exploring. After our massages, we met back up and headed to Salud Super Food for lunch. They are a healthy lunch place and I got the Oriental wrap and Bahia de Banderas smoothie. Everything was really good as always. 

Then we headed back to the condo and went back to the pool. My in-laws had a massage at 4 pm, but we hung out with the girls at the pool until 5:20 pm. Then we showered, got ready and waited for my in-laws to get back from their massages and with food for our great uncle. Then we headed out to an Italian restaurant that specializes in seafood that someone at the pool recommended that day. It was called Il Pesce. It is a small place, but the food is amazing.

We started off with three appetizers: a swordfish carpaccio with veggies and beans, a grilled shrimp with onions, raisins and almonds and a shrimp salad. All of them were amazing!
Il Pesce Puerto Vallarta

The swordfish dish

The shrimp with onions, raisins and almonds

Shrimp salad

No the girls did not eat any of the appetizers. They did have the fresh bread and an eggplant tapenade. Then we all got different pasta dishes. All of the pasta was homemade. The girls LOVED it. I just wish we came earlier in the trip as we all had leftovers, minus Rory, and we would have loved leftover the next day.

My pasta dish had pappardelle pasta, grilled shrimp, a spicy tomato sauce and pistachios. Soooo good.

Then we opted out of dessert since we promised the girls one last night of gelato (they make amazing ice cream and gelato in PV). 

We all went back to the condo where the girls went to bed, we talked with my in-laws for a bit and then drank wine on the patio to enjoy our last evening in Puerto Vallarta.

Saturday morning we woke up to many text messages from my parents and sister that my sister had my nephew. He came fast and furious! So we talked to my dad first thing in the morning and then got our day started. We started packing, had some pastries and coffee and then got ready. The girls and my in-laws went back to visit Rory's great uncle and Rory and I headed over to the Farmer's Market. They sell food there, but mostly it is for the crafts. It is completely outside and they make you wear a mask. Rory and I both bought quite a few gifts including a Mexican style jacket for my new nephew who was born that morning. 

After coming back, we finished packing up the items we got at the Farmer's Market and then went over to Conrad's condo to hang out and say our goodbyes. Conrad is 97 years old, so it was such a joy to see him again. And it was a complete joy for Conrad to see the girls again. It had been 4 years since he has seen them other than social media.

We said our goodbyes and gathered our things. We took one last photo to recreate a photo we did four years ago and then were on our way to the airport.


When we got to the airport, it was a bit crazy. We had to get our boarding passes, but to do that, we had to go to the kiosk, start putting our info in, then have an agent verify and check our negative Covid tests and give authorization to print those boarding passes. Then we had to go in the normal line to check-in/drop our bags off. There we had to give more documents that we filled out on the way to Mexico. Once all of this was done, we were able to head up stairs to go through security. 

We stopped along the way and took a few photos.

Then we did another body temperature check before going through security. After security, we walked the long path to get to the gate area. We stopped for Starbucks and some food before heading to the gates.

The flight to LA was pretty uneventful. We had a whole row (across) to ourselves and my in-laws were a few rows ahead of us since they broke us up. We watched movies on our iPads/Kindles the whole time. Then once we were in LA, we went through Customs, got our bags, and went over to the American counter to recheck them. The whole Customs/re-check is different due to Covid, so we were thrown for a bit of a loop. I have been through LA Customs many times (with work travel) and it has changed. After we got re-checked back in, we headed through security and then found places to eat which was very difficult. Then we sat in an empty gate for a few hours (like 3 hours) and then headed to our gate to fly home.

The last flight was easy and we were home by 11:30 pm. We were supposed to be home at 9:30 pm but they changed our flights about 2 weeks before we left.

And that concludes our Mexico trip. It was so much fun and I am sad that we are back to reality, but it was definitely a trip for the books! Have you ever been to Puerto Vallarta?
Monday, April 12, 2021

Spring Sephora Sale

*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.

So I wasn't going to do a Sephora sale post, but then I reconsidered as I have several items that I am adding to my list. Some are re-purchases and some are new and some are just wish list items. But I have added a bunch of items to my cart right now (in the app) in hopes they won't be sold out by tomorrow. If you are a VIB member like me, your sale access starts tomorrow.

Will you be shopping the Sephora sale? I know I am. With my announcement (if you want to call it that) on Friday, I am going back into the office and wearing make-up is going to become a daily thing again. But I am buying a few items to help speed up the process.

Anyways, onto my shopping cart items and wish list items.

Sephora Spring Sale

Glow Recipe Watermelon Body Cream  I saw this on Biana's blog on Friday and immediately added it to my cart. It has clean ingredients, apparently smells heavenly and gives you the moisture you need when you live in the desert.

Iconic London Illuminator  I tried to buy this a few months ago and it was sold out in my color (Original). I have been wanting to try this for awhile and hopefully I can snag one this time. It gives you a glow and brightens your face.

Living Proof Dry Shampoo  We all know that this is my favorite dry shampoo. Once Target's price went up, I have been using my stash. Well I am down to one bottle, so I am grabbing the 7.3 oz one from the sale.

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen  I heard this was a great sunscreen and it goes on without an oily feeling, so we are going to try it.

Tarte Lights, Camera Lashes  This is another repurchase. This is my favorite mascara and I have a mini that I received from Tarte that I am currently using. So this is something I definitely need.

Dyson Air Wrap Styler Set  Let's be honest, this is on my wish list. $549 is a lot to spend on hair tools BUT I really do want it. It will cut down the time to dry my extensions and curl it at the same time, so basically time is money and I would save in the long run. Trying to convince myself to buy it, but it is just so dang expensive.

Nars Creamy Concealer  I have been using Tarte's Shape Tape for years. Well during the Summer months, it leaves creases under my eyes. Even if I use setting powder in between. A fellow IGer recommended this concealer to me and now I am going to try it.

Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter  This is something that I am buying to make my morning make-up routine easier. I was told by a local blogger that this is amazing for our Summers. It goes on smoothly, easy and quick to apply and gives you a flawless glow. I am buying it in the Light/Medium for my Summer skin. I have been using Dior's Forever Matte Foundation for years and I love it. But it is more of a full coverage face. And recently I alternate my Dior with Tarte's Foundcealer. I got the Foundcealer in one of those 6 full size products for $60 (around that). While I do like the Foundcealer, I have always wanted to try this Flawless Filter.

Are you shopping the sale? What are your top picks?

Friday, April 9, 2021

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.

Happy Friday all!

ONE. Well the time has come...I am going back into the office. We found out last week what the plan was. And I am not super thrilled on it, but it is what it is. I guess things have to change and go back to some sort of normal and this is the first step. Starting Monday April 19th we will be going back into the office two days a week. 50% will go in on Monday and Tuesday and the other 50% will go back in on Wednesday and Thursday. The remaining days we will work from home. Then June 1st, we will go back full time. 

Now this could all change if the numbers rise, but our numbers have been dropping a lot (like down to 3 or 4% positivity rates). 

I am so used to being at home. I can eat whenever I want. I cook lunches. I go on walks. I can do laundry in between work. And the best part is wearing whatever I want unless I have a Zoom meeting. We have to wear business casual when we are back in the office. Ugh.

I guess it could be worse and we go back in full time right away. But we do have to wear masks if someone comes in our offices, anytime we get up from our desks and walk the halls or go to the bathroom, etc. I am not looking forward to that part. 

Are you back in the office yet?

TWO. And now a happier note. Here are some scenes from last weekend. On Friday, I got myself a Spring/Easter manicure.

Spring/Easter Nails

That evening I went out with my girlfriends. We met up for tacos and drinks and then went to a bar across the street for more drinks. We stayed out way too late for this mama, but I had the best time.

THREE. Saturday was full of birthday parties and an early Easter dinner. 

We had ham with spicy mustard, angel hair pasta, brussel sprout salad and apples in cream.

And my MIL had this cake made for Easter dinner which was a vanilla cake, fresh strawberries, whipped cream and then maripan as the outside. So good.

FOUR. Easter Sunday was just as busy. The night before the bunny got to work hiding eggs and putting together baskets.

Kids Easter baskets

Kids Easter baskets

Kids Easter baskets
Question: Do you hide the baskets? We did last year and that is how it was for when we were kids, but this year we did not hide them.

The girls found all the eggs in record time with a big meltdown from Avery and then went through their loot.

Then we got ready and headed out to breakfast. But not before taking some photos.

Then we came home and hung out outside since it was so beautiful before heading down to my parents house for my mom's birthday and Easter dinner. We got to my parents house around 1 pm. The girls worked on my mom's hair, then had my mom do their hair. Then they did an Easter egg hunt outside as my sister and brother-in-law arrived with my nephew.

Then we had dinner, took more photos of the girls holding their cousin, an Easter photoshoot of my nephew and then had dessert! For dinner we had tri-tip, my grandmother's potato salad, deviled eggs, and leftovers from the appetizers! For dessert my sister made an angel food cake with whipped cream and blueberries. It was a great way to end Easter Sunday and Easter weekend.

FIVE. Weekly funnies.
And this always happens when I am in a hurry or had a bad day.

Yep, I didn't see the cat at first.

Basically brunch with friends and then shopping.

So true.

This was me this week with Top Chef.

How I felt after my Zoom meeting this week.

How I felt when I was in Mexico.

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