Monday, August 8, 2022

My 39th Birthday

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My 39th birthday came and went. I usually don't make a big deal out of it. Heck, I wasn't even going to celebrate with my friends, but some of them talked me into going out to dinner.

I thought I would share some of my birthday celebrations today.

Monday August 1st, Rory's good friend Ben (who was in our wedding) and his family were in town. I literally haven't seen them since our wedding and I had never met their girls. I have seen plenty of photos, but never met them. Same with them and our girls. So that changed Monday night.

We met up at their hotel, the Grand Sierra Resort and had dinner at Rim, which is a Chinese/Sushi restaurant. We ate so much food, talked and then took the kids downstairs to get frozen yogurt. And we only captured one photo.
one of their daughters is missing as she already went back up to the room.

Tuesday, my actual birthday, I took off work. Who wants to work on their birthday? Not me if I can help it. 

My day started off with a trip to the gym. I worked out and then headed to Starbucks for my free drink.

Then I went home to shower and get ready, but when I walked in, there was a card and some candy left for me. My husband and kids know how much I love both of these sweets but only buy them for trips or occasionally at work.
I LOVE The Office

Then I got ready and headed to Sparks Water Bar (my first time there) to meet my friend Heather for lunch and a Wet Woody. Yes that sounds dirty, but it is a frozen rum drink that is heavenly. I only get them about once a year, so I look forward to having them.

We shared our lunch with some coconut shrimp, crab cakes and a teriyaki salmon salad.

My tank is on sale for $14.95 with the code REALGOOD

Then I headed to Nordstrom Rack to look for a strapless bra. I needed one for the shirt above and for an old J Crew scalloped tank that has a different strap situation than the current ones. While there, I found a cute Max Studio dress that was normally $188, on sale for $54.99. I plan to wear this on a lot of upcoming work trips.
MaxStudio Polka Dot Pleated Dress

Then I headed home to freshen up and change for dinner. Then we dropped the girls off at my sisters house and headed to South Lake Tahoe for dinner at Hell's Kitchen. I used to watch HK and had always wanted to go to one. When the one in South Lake opened up, I tried to get reservations, but we never lucked out...until my birthday. Though we did make the reservations about two months in advance.

We both got drinks. Rory got the Smoking Barrel which is a play off an Old Fashion but they put it in a smoke box and bring it out for you to open. It smelled amazing and tasted so good. I got an It's Your Thyme which had vodka, thyme, lime, pear and vermouth.
Hell's Kitchen

Hell's Kitchen

Then we ordered the lobster risotto (which is the famous dish they always had for an appetizer along with the scallops). We also order the heirloom tomato and burrata salad which had basil and salt inside. Both dishes were amazing. So outstanding.
Lobster Risotto

Heirloom tomato and burrata salad

Then it was entree time. I got the famous Beef Wellington and Rory had the same, but with lobster on top of it. I had dreamed of having this dish and it definitely lived up to my expectations. It was so flavorful and amazing. I ate every last bite of it.
Hell's Kitchen Beef Wellington

And then we got the roasted corn which was done in an elote style with queso fresca, jalapenos, and a jalapeno aioli. Again, amazing!
Roasted Corn

Then we got a free birthday dessert of the famous Sticky Toffee Pudding with homemade Speculoos ice cream. Seriously one of the best desserts I have ever had.

After almost two hours of dining, we headed about 2 miles away to Riva Grill (which the owners also own Sparks Water Bar) for another Wet Woody and to walk the pier and watch the sunset. These photos are why I love Lake Tahoe so much!

Then we drove back to Reno to pick up the girls and head home. We didn't get home until just after 10 pm and I had to go into work the next day. Brutal, but so worth it. It was such a great birthday celebration.
Friday, August 5, 2022

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! We are about a week out from school starting, I am planning a ton of work travel, we had a wedding out of town next weekend and just have had a full plate. I feel like Summer flew by in a flash and I am trying to soak in every last second of it. Are you ready for Summer to end?

Also, I plan to read, respond and comment on my blog comments and yours. This week has been hectic.

ONE. As I said above, we had had a busy Summer. I wanted to share some of the things that we have done lately. On Thursday, July 28th, it was Miracle Treat Day at Dairy Queen. The proceeds from DQ Blizzards go to a local hospital which is the one that my girls were born in. I make sure that we participate each year. But usually that is while I am at work since DQ doesn't have many locations here anymore. BUT this year, I took the girls to the one left in Sparks and us three got mini oreo blizzards which the girls loved.

Miracle Treat Day at Dairy Queen

TWO. That Saturday we were going to go to the chicken wing festival downtown, but it was packed. Well, we did go down there with friends and every line was over 30 minutes long. We basically walked downtown and then decided to go get pizza and wings at a local favorite place and pay $15 for a pound of wings instead of $15 for 6 to 8 wings. 

Rory snapped this photo of our group walking back to the cars to go get pizza and wings.

THREE. Then the next day we went to Lake Tahoe to swim in the lake. It was a cooler overcast day which meant temperatures in the low 80s instead of 90s like it has been lately and 100s in the Reno area. 

It was the first day that we went to Lake Tahoe to swim all Summer long since I couldn't with my surgery. I was cleared last Friday to workout, go in hot tubs, go swimming, cook, lift more than 8 pounds, etc. So we enjoyed about 6 hours up at the lake.

Top is old American Eagle | Bottoms (from the Amazon suit I ordered in May)

FOUR. This week, we have had some crazy thunderstorms. On Wednesday night, after making dinner, we went on a family walk. The thunderstorms had passed us and we wanted to soak in the cooler evening, the sunset and the amazing rain smells. 

Though about 3/4's the way through our walk, there was some lightening about a mile away and it set us all off. Walter whimpered, I jumped and the girls screamed. Rory just said, "wow that was intense". We quickly walked home in case a random thunderstorm popped up again.

But I snapped these photos. One is a double rainbow at the beginning of our walk.

FIVE. Weekly funnies.

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

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Dragon Lights Festival - Reno

Back in 2018, the Dragon Lights Festival came to Reno. We took the girls and loved it. So when they announced that they were finally coming back after 4 years, we jumped on the early bird tickets. We got ours at a discount since we ordered so early. But then we had to wait. They are here from July 1st to August 12th. We went on July 23rd and I am really wanting to go one more time.

Anyways, we went with our friends who live really close to the festival/park where it is held. So we had a potluck bbq, hung out and then walked over to the festival. We spent about an hour and a half there. One hour exploring and half an hour having some treats at the end...funnel cake and tacos. Ha.

Here is a photo dump from our time there. And if this event is coming to your city, you should definitely go. So much fun!

Have you been to a festival like this?