Friday, April 30, 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! I can't believe we are at the end of April already. AND...

I had to!

Anyways, onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. I am sharing this again on Monday for my Amazon Prime purchases, but I had to share it now. I bought a handheld vacuum for my car. I have seen Jacci recommend this vac time and time again. And while I LOVE my Shark vac for inside my house, I wanted something for on the go. 

Rory (lovingly) told me that he hates driving our car and seeing my hair on the ground. Well I hate when you pee on the floor or the toilet seat, but I digress. Plus my girls eat in the car, track in dirt and I love a tidy car. So I bought this vac which includes an usb charger with it. And now I keep it in my car and can clean up the messes easily. So amazing. So worth it!
Bissell Cordless Hand Vac

TWO. I have been wanting a certain bathing suit for months. Ok, maybe a month or so, but it was sold out before I went to Mexico. And this week it came back in stock, so I purchased it. Yes it is expensive, but I like to have at least one really good bathing suit in my collection each year. I have lots that are cheaper and I don't mind when I have to say goodbye to them.

Anyways I got this suit in the bikini version, but it has a high waist bottom. It also comes in a one piece that is just so dang pretty. Anyways, I can't wait for it to arrive.

This isn't sponsored nor are the links below affiliate. I just wanted to share.
Oleena Luxe Bikini Top

Olenna Luxe Bottoms

Olenna One Piece

THREE. I was watching Lindsay's stories this week and she had the cutest shorts on before baseball. Well someone asked about the shorts before I did and she posted a link to them. So I swiped up and grabbed myself a pair. I hope they are as good as everyone says they are. I love wearing jean shorts and haven't found any that I love since I bought my Joe denim shorts a few years ago from Nordstrom Rack. 

I will definitely report back if they live up to their hype. And they are only $17.99. Such a good deal.
Universal Thread Denim Shorts

FOUR. I forgot to mention another other item that I got last week when I was in Vacaville....first up, I got the Serena and Lily Riviera chairs that I have been wanting forever. I got the counter top stools and I couldn't be happier. These are sooo worth the money. Well, I am not sure I would pay the $348 per chair price, but I would if I had a lot of money. I got my chairs at the outlet store. Now they opened two outlets, one in Vacaville and one in Berkley. They told us they did this to give back to the community who made them so popular. They are all brand new chairs, nothing is wrong with them, they are just over stocked and want to give a deal to locals. 

I took a few pictures of chairs in the store and then the ones that I purchased.
Serena and Lily Riviera Counter Stools

Serena and Lily Riviera Counter Stools

Serena and Lily Riviera Counter Stools

They also had some bath and hand towels that I really wanted, but only one of each. Ugh. And they said they rarely get any of those in.

FIVE. Weekly funnies.
Isn't that the truth? Though Rory's best man gave a pretty awesome speech.

Somedays I am definitely like this.

What is that?

I laughed at this all week.

This is how I felt all quarantine and now I am living it two days a week.

This applies to my kids too. They eat so many baskets of chips.

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

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

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 haven't participated in a What's Up Wednesday since February, so I thought I would this month. Especially since I haven't been doing weekend updates or many life updates.

Anyways, onto this month's What's Up Wednesday...What's Up Wednesday
Sunday: Meatball subs with Caesar salad
Monday: Red curry noodles with fried coconut garlic
Tuesday: Out since Rory has an early softball game.
Wednesday: Unsure.
Thursday: Unsure.
Friday: Dinner out with my friend Nathalie who is coming into town.
Saturday: Dinner out again with Nathalie and friends.

WHAT I'M REMINISCING ABOUT... The days where we were working from home all the time. I know I just went back part time, but I am all about working from home. Not only am I more productive, but I had a good routine going there. I really hope we can keep the hybrid schedule and not go back into the office full time. Ugh. Also, my girls have 5 1/2 weeks left of Kindergarten. Where did the time go?

WHAT I'M LOVING... I went to Vacaville last week with my MIL and got some great items. We went to Home Goods (we only have TJ Maxx here and I know they are sister companies but TJ Maxx has clothes) and I picked up three of these pillows. They are so soft, large, comfy and don't have feathers coming out of them all the time (my previous ones from TJ Maxx did).

Another item I picked up at TJ Maxx (they were next door to each other) was this Stila Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow. I got it in Kitten. I use the regular Stila Kitten Eyeshadow, but it is so hard to find. I did find a pack that had the eyeshadow, liquid eyeshadow and a lip color. All in the Kitten color. I almost bought it, but decided against it and went with the liquid eyeshadow. This stuff gets good reviews and I can see why. I was worried the liquid eyeshadow would crease or feel sticky and it does not. I barely let it dry and it never deviates from where I put it on. So worth it.
Stila Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow

Another item that I purchased and have used a few times already is a new tea kettle. The one we had at home was awful. It was old and had seen better days. I found the one below and it is pretty, holds a lot of water and works very well. Though I can see lots of fingerprints on it in my future. Ha. But for $25, it was worth it.
Brandani Tea Kettle

WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO... Well we have been doing things around the house, hosting a small dinner party with friends, seeing my nephew at least weekly if not more, we celebrated Easter and my mom's birthday with family and we have been prepping for Summer.  
Last Wednesday



WHAT I'M DREADING... Going back to work full time in the office. Fingers crossed it doesn't happen.

WHAT I'M WORKING ON... Trying to get ahead on my blogging and IG post. 

WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT... My best friend coming into town, warmer weather and hopefully beach days soon.

WHAT I'M WATCHING/READING... I am currently reading the third installment of the You series. So far I love it and got right back into series. And now I read it while picturing Penn Badgley from the TV series. I can't wait for season 3 to come out. Though I know it will be quite different from the book.

As for watching...I am watching Grey's Anatomy, Top Chef, Younger, Good Girls, Life in Pieces (sooo good and quick episodes) and Million Little Things. I needed a new show to watch and started Million Little Things by chance and I am really liking it. I am still early on in season 1, but so far so good. What are you watching?

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO... XM/Sirius radio.

WHAT I'M WEARING... Well on Mondays and Tuesdays I am wearing jeans, nicer shirts/sweaters and flats. Then the rest of the week I wear either leggings and a t-shirt/sweatshirt or shorts/dresses. It just depends on how warm it is. Tomorrow it is supposed to be in the 80s and I am here for it!!!

I have been wearing this dress on repeat. It is so comfy and cute. Yes, Target has a few cute dresses this season and this is one of them. I have it in this orange color and blue.

WHAT I'M DOING THIS WEEKEND... My best friend Nathalie is coming into town and I couldn't be more excited. I haven't seen her in over a year because of Covid, but she is coming for a girls weekend. Friday night we are going to dinner, Saturday she is coming over to hang out with Rory, the girls and I and then we are going out that night with some other friends in town. I can't wait. Sunday brings two kids birthday parties and a groomers appointment for Walter. Lots going on.

WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH... May brings warmth. I am looking forward to spending more evenings outside, going on more walks during the day and just getting ready to usher in Summer. We don't have any big plans, but I am ok with that.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW... Remember how I have two Artis brushes? I have the oval 3 and 6. I have had the 6 for well over a year now, but I have only had the 3 for about 6 months. Well, last week I was using the 3 which I use for concealer and it broke. The brush part just came unglued. I looked up the return/warranty/exchange policy on it and I was able to contact Artis and get another one. Well the oval 3 is sold out so they picked a comparable one for concealer which might make it even easier to put on. That is great customer service.
Artis Oval 3 Brush

Monday, April 26, 2021

Mother's Day Gift Guide

*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.

Mother's Day is coming up and I have put together a guide of gifts that I would love to receive. What are you wanting? I definitely would love a long massage, to sleep in and not cook all day. But I really LOVE getting homemade cards from my girls. They already told me they are making me something. Just so sweet. I have all Mother's Day items up at work. 

Mother's Day Gift Guide

PonyFlo Hat  This hat is perfect for working out, golfing or wearing daily. You can adjust the ponytail height in the hat which is amazing. I have seen many different hats like this, but this is just one option that isn't as pricey as some that I have seen (Lululemon).

Lululemon Energy Longline Sports Bra  It is no secret that I love Lululemon. I have some really old Victoria Secret sports bras that I work out in that don't fit me. It is time for a change and to something durable, soft and holds the ladies in. Enter this sports bra.

Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee Bundle  I already have this and I LOVE it. I use it pretty much every single day. And once I am back in the office full time, it will be coming with me. The frother is amazing and I also use it daily.

Kendra Scott Heart Earrings  I love how simple and dainty these earrings are. And they are the perfect gift from your little ones.

Dyson Airwrap Styler  I still really want this styler. I did not get it during the Sephora sale since it was sold out and the price tag is really high. But it can still be on my wishlist.

Lululemon Align Tank  This tank is amazing. It is made from the same material as my Align leggings that I love and now comes in a tank. This tank is a bit cropped but perfect for all of the high waisted shirts and shorts that I have accumulated over the last year.

Tieks  I have these Tieks in blush and now I want them in nude/taupe. I got mine as a Mother's Day or birthday gift years ago and I still wear them all the time. They are so comfy, cute and pack up easily for when I get to travel again.

Sorella Lip Oil  This lip oil saves your lips during the winter. It is made locally but sold online at many places. It goes on smooth, isn't sticky, hydrates your lips and is perfect to wear to bed or during the day.

Tory Burch Miller Sandals  Yes I am still wanting these sandals all these years later. The price tag usually stops me, but they are so dang cute. And I always miss out on my size when sales happen. But I really want these sandals.

What is on your Mother's Day list?

Friday, April 23, 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! I survived my first week back in the office. It was tough. I woke up at 5:30 am Monday and Tuesday and then was back to my usual wake up 5 minutes before I start working. I need to work on going to bed early on Sundays and Mondays because there was not enough coffee to help with that. Ha. But it was good to see some people and interact with others. So crazy. 

Anyways, onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. So I have had a chance to use some of my Sephora haul. Some of it still hasn't shown up, and some of the items are my tried and true. First, I wanted to talk about the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter. This was one item that I have had my eye on for months. A local blogger that I follow on IG, recommended it to me. It can be worn by itself or with your favorite foundation/cc cream. I chose to use it with my Tarte Foundcealer. I got this Tarte product in one of the buy 6 items for $60ish, and it is perfect for lighter makeup days. It gives me a great glow and lasts all day. I also tried it once with my Dior Forever Matte Foundation

The first time I used it, I loved it. I used it on the weekend and it gave me a pretty glow to my face. I wore it all day and didn't do too much active things or go sit out in the sun. I kept wearing it for almost a week and then I threw in the towel. I tend to have oily skin and the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter just made my skin look more oily after a day in the office, taking walks and going about my day. My day started at 5:30 am and I took the makeup off at 7:30 pm. It just didn't wear well for me. BUT the overall look of it at the start of the day is beautiful. So if you have dryer skin or normal skin, this product is for you.

Luckily, Sephora has a great policy where you can return a product within 60 days if you are unhappy with it. Even if some is used. Sure they will not be happy if you use half the product, but a weeks worth isn't even a dent in this.

By the way, that dry shampoo is so large and amazing. I usually get the 4 oz one, but with the Sephora discount, I got the 7.3 oz which should last me so much longer.

TWO. Another item that I received a few days later that I didn't include on my Sephora post was the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Cream in Fenty Glow. I have been wanting this for a long time, but it was always out at my local Sephora. It is the prettiest nude color and the photo below doesn't do it justice. I have been wearing it daily. It doesn't feel sticky, goes on smoothly, and makes my lips feel great. This one is a total win. 

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Cream
Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Cream (Please look away from my awful nails. They will be fixed today.)

THREE. I am happy to report that I love the Nars Creamy Concealer that I purchased. It was recommended to me by a fellow blogger/IGer. I was having problems with my Tarte Shape Tape creasing under my eyes. She recommended the Nars concealer and I have been using it for a week and little to no creases. I got it in the color Creme Brulee which the sales rep said it hides imperfections, but also brightens your under eye area.

Yes I had to go into Sephora. I had to exchange an item and wanted to get someone to color match me for the concealer since they have so many colors. This one is perfect and I definitely recommend it. They have a mini option so you can try it and see if you like it.

Nars Creamy Concealer

FOUR. Weekly funnies.

This is how I felt early on in quarantine.

So true.

I need another vacation after surviving my first week back in the office. And yes it was only 2 days.

This would happen to me when I traveled. Ugh.

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

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Stitch Fix Review

*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 used to get clothing hauls from Stitch Fix, but it has been about 3 years since I had one. They recently contacted me to see if I wanted to try it again and I thought why not? I am back in the office 2 days a week and have to start wearing business casual again. And the fact that I haven't worn anything like that in a year meant that I needed an update. 

Fortunately, (at the time not so much) I bought a bunch of Spring/Summer work tops last year right after the pandemic started from J Crew. I got everything at 60% to 75% off, which meant I didn't spend much. But I felt like I could add another shirt or two and definitely some updated work slacks.

If you haven't heard of Stitch Fix, let me tell you a bit about them. You pay a $20 styling fee that can be used towards the purchase of your items that are sent to you. You can create Pinterest boards with styling inspiration, you can go to the Style tab and say if you like outfits or not, you can tell your stylist what you are in the market for and you can take the quiz to give sizing/likes. Then you get a preview (this is new to me) of what is to come. If you don't like something, you can change it out or have a new box made. I had a new box created as I didn't like any initial styles. But to be fair, I hadn't gone to the Style tab or updated my preferences.

So this is what I got in my first fix.
Liverpool Jacqueline Skinny Pant

I tried these on with the blue top and cardigan. Not really how I would pair them, but it was easier than pulling items from my closet. I LOVED these pants. They were stretchy, very long (maybe a bit too long), in a beautiful olive green, they have pockets and zip up. They were a nice work pant or even a pant you can wear on the weekend. I wanted to keep these, but $78 was a lot for right now. I will re-purchase these in the future though. Just when I am back in the office full time. RETURNED

Liverpool Jacqueline Skinny Pant

These are very similar to the green ones, but not as long. I could always use a pair of black pants for work, so I ultimately kept these. They were a great option for work and play. KEPT

Market and Spruce Brushed Knit Cardigan

This was the softest cardigan. I loved how cozy it was, the pockets, the length and fit. But with my area heading into Summer, I didn't think I would get much use out of it until Fall and the Winter, so it went back. Sadly. RETURNED

41 Hawthorn Benni Wrap Shirt

When I saw this on the card I wasn't a fan. It looks too much like a maternity shirt with the ruching on the side. But then I put it on and it was better. It was soft, a great length, great coverage, but ultimately it was too much of a maternity/postpartum shirt. It would be perfect for a nursing mother, which I am not. RETURNED

Daniel Rainn Koda Blouse

I loved this shirt when I saw it. And I loved it on, BUT the seems were frayed and the threading in the armpit area was already coming apart. I tried it on and loved it even more, but I felt that after one wash it would fall apart and paying $68 is too much for something that wouldn't last. RETURNED

Liverpool black pants, Daniel Rainn blouse

Liverpool black pants, 41 Hawthorn wrap shirt

41 Hawthorn wrap shirt

Liverpool olive pants, 41 Hawthorn wrap shirt, Market and Spruce cardigan

Liverpool olive pants, 41 Hawthorn wrap shirt, Market and Spruce cardigan

Overall, I was satisfied with this box even though I only kept one item.

If you want to try Stitch Fix, you can click my referral link!
Monday, April 19, 2021

Show Me Your Books - March

*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 feel like it has been forever since I did a What I Read. To be honest, I haven't read that much in months. I guess I was in a reading funk. But I read a few books this month and they were really good!

Goodnight Beautiful - Aimee Molloy
Genre: Suspense, Mystery, Thriller
Rating: 3 1/2 stars

Goodnight Beautiful - Aimee Molloy

This book is broken up into three parts. I really loved part 1 and then I became a bit confused. I finally got what was going on, but I just wish it stuck with part ones way of the story. 

Newlyweds Sam and Annie move from New York City to Sam's hometown to take care of his mother. They move into a beautiful house, renovate an area for Sam's office and things are falling into place beautifully. Sam is a psychotherapist and sees his patients in his new office which is downstairs in their home. Annie's life has changed since moving from NYC and she is a bit bored. Until she hears one of the sessions Sam is in. Annie starts listening to all of Sam's sessions and knows all the towns secrets. One of Sam's patients seems a bit off and Sam goes missing one night. Where is he?

I loved reading the sessions that Sam was in and seeing Annie's obsession start. But then it goes to part 2 and that is where some confusion starts. I liked the book, but some of it just seemed too far fetched. 

Here is Amazon's synopsis:

A handsome psychotherapist. His lonely wife. And in his home office ceiling, a vent …

You’d listen too, wouldn’t you? (You know you would.)

Newlyweds Sam Statler and Annie Potter are head over heels, and excited to say good-bye to New York City and start a life together in Sam's sleepy hometown upstate. Or, it turns out, a life where Annie spends most of her time alone while Sam, her therapist husband, works long hours in his downstairs office, tending to the egos of his (mostly female) clientele. Little does Sam know that through a vent in his ceiling, every word of his sessions can be heard from the room upstairs. The pharmacist's wife, contemplating a divorce. The well-known painter whose boyfriend doesn’t satisfy her in bed. Who could resist listening? Everything is fine until the French girl in the green mini Cooper shows up, and Sam decides to go to work and not come home, throwing a wrench into Sam and Annie's happily ever after. 

Don't Look for Me - Wendy Walker
Genre: Suspense, Mystery, Thriller
Rating: 4 1/2 starts

Don't Look for Me - Wendy Walker

I read this one about a day and a half. Once I started, I wanted to know what happened. The story goes back and forth between Molly and her daughter, Nik. And Molly's starts from day one that she goes missing and Nik's starts around day 14 of her mother missing.

Molly disappears on the drive home from her son's football game. She has stopped at this gas station many times over the years, but this time they find her car abandoned. She got into a heated argument with her kids that morning and her family thinks she has left them. Fast forward two weeks and her daughter Nik gets a tip that someone had seen her mother. Nik goes back to the town and tries to find out what happened to her mother. Did she leave on her own or did something bad happen.

I don't want to give away Molly's parts, but read this. I really enjoyed it and kept guessing what happens and I only got part of it right. There is one part that I was very shocked and another that I saw coming. Bottom line: read it.

Here is Amazon's synopsis:

They called it a “walk away.” The car abandoned miles from home. The note found at a nearby hotel. The shattered family. It happens all the time. Women disappear, desperate to start over. But what really happened to Molly Clarke?

The night Molly disappeared began with a storm, running out of gas, and a man offering her a ride to safety. But when the doors lock shut, Molly begins to suspect she has made a terrible mistake.

A new lead brings Molly’s daughter, Nicole, back to the small, desolate town where her mother was last seen to renew the desperate search. The locals are sympathetic and eager to help. The innkeeper. The bartender. Even the police. Until secrets begin to reveal themselves and Nicole comes closer to the truth about that night—and the danger surrounding her.

What did you read this month?

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.