Monday, May 30, 2022

Show Me Your Books - April

*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 Memorial Day!

I read one book last month. I feel like this is becoming my new norm for reading, ha. I really hope to read two books while we are on our Graeagle trip, but we shall see. I keep pushing my holds out even longer.

So what did I read last month?

The Dilemma - B.A. Paris
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Rating: 4 stars

The Dilemma - B.A. Paris

It is Livia's 40th birthday. Livia didn't have a grand wedding like she wanted because she got married young, so instead, Livia is having a grand 40th birthday party. Everyone will be there except her daughter, Marnie, who is studying abroad in Hong Kong. But what Livia doesn't know is her husband, Adam, has planned for their daughter Marnie to come back and surprise her mom.

Something big happens, and now Adam has a secret and so does Livia. And they are both about their daughter Does Adam let he party go on or tell Livia the secret. And same goes with Livia. Should she let the party go on or tell Adam the secret that she knows.

The book goes back and forth between Adam's perspective and Livia's. While this book gets differing reviews, I enjoyed it. I liked seeing it from both perspectives. Plus it wasn't really a thriller. It was more of a mystery/suspense. Nothing crazy, nothing gruesome which was a welcome because some of B.A. Paris' books can be out there. 

I gave it 4 stars.

Here is Amazon's synopsis:

It’s Livia’s 40th birthday, and her husband Adam is throwing her the party of a lifetime to make up for the wedding they never had. Everyone she loves will be there, except her daughter Marnie, who’s studying abroad. But Livia is secretly glad Marnie won’t be there.

Livia has recently uncovered a secret about their daughter which, if revealed, will shake the foundation of their family to its core. She needs to tell Adam, but she’s waiting until the party is over so they can have this last happy time together.

Adam, meanwhile, has his own surprise for Livia: he’s arranged for Marnie to secretly fly back for the party. But before Marnie arrives, Adam hears some terrible news. Now he too is faced with a dilemma: Does he share what he's learned with his wife? Is hiding the truth the same as telling a lie? And how far are Adam and Livia willing to go to protect the ones they love―and give each other a last few hours of happiness?

I am currently reading Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger. What are you reading?

Friday, May 27, 2022

Friday Favorites and Happeings

*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! We do not have a busy weekend this weekend what do you know, the weather won't be great. Ugh. I hate that. But we are going to still enjoy the long weekend. What do you have planned?

Anyways, onto Friday favorites and Happenings.

ONE. I want to share a story with you all. Well more of a review if you will. We use for Walter's food since he has a prescription for his wet and dry food. We also get his Heart Guard from there. And since we do an autoship on it, we get a discount on each shipment. Chewy has the best prices on his food as well. 

Anyways, one of our friends lost their dog last week. She had a tumor in her nose and they had to make the difficult decision to put her down. They were devastated. We were devastated for them. 

They also use Chewy for their food. She ate the same food as Walter, so after they notified Chewy that their dog had passed, Chewy promptly refunded their money for the food they had ordered a few weeks before and they had flowers delivered to their house. And I am not talking about a small bouquet. Chewy sent the most thoughtful bouquet. They are seriously a wonderful company. They said our friends house donate the food, send it back or give it to a friend. No questions asked.

So now Walter has so much dry food that we don't have to purchase for a long time. We only have to get his wet food. And we will forever get his food from Chewy. They are amazing.

Walter snuggles

TWO. On Monday, the girls had their last softball game. They were very sad that it was over, but had the best season. They already said they want to play in the Fall. 

Over the last season, they learned to throw better, catch better and bat better. They have grown so much. To think that they didn't even want to play before the season started, but I had signed them up anyways. I told them they had to try the sport and if they didn't like it, they only had to play this season. And guess what, they loved it. 

Here are some snaps from their last weekend of games.

THREE. Last week, a friend was on her bachelorette party and wore the cutest dress. She wore it in white, but I immediately texted her, asked her where she got it and purchased it right away. She told me to get a small since it runs a bit big. I got the small and wasn't sure it would fit, but it did. I even have a bit extra room in the chest area. Maybe because you don't wear a bra with it. But this dress is so cute.

I was worried the little peep area below the chest wouldn't cover my chest properly, but it does. The tie can be removed completely so you can adjust it to fit your own chest. I tied mine tighter than it came in the package and it fit beautifully. The button's on the bottom don't work. They are just for show. I just wish I got a picture of myself in it. But next time I wear it, I will.

I got the black in size small. It is the cutest dress for the Summer, date night, girls night, etc. Oh and it is on sale for $25.48 right now.

Women's Summer Tie Top Dress

FOUR. With some upcoming work trips, another season of football on the horizon and for practicality purposes, I think I am giving in and getting the Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag. I want something that I can be hands free with, can travel with and can fit everything that I need for football games and still be in compliant with the small bag policy.

I will not be wearing this as a fanny pack as that is not me. I will wear it as the crossbody option. Do you have one of these? Do you love it?

Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag

FIVE. Weekly funnies.

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2022


I had another post planned for today, but I just couldn't post it. My heart breaks for the community of Uvalde, Texas. As you all know, I have two elementary school aged girls and I can't even fathom this happening at their school. I never want to and I hope I never have to. 

I was in high school when Columbine happened and that forever changed the way I felt about safety in schools. And now that my girls are in school, I am more fearful by the day about safety in schools. Something has to change. We can't keep going on like this. We can't lose anymore children this way.

So hug your babies tight today and every day. 

See you back here on Friday.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Recent Purchase Reviews

*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.

Now that I have had some time to use some of my recent purchases, I thought I would update you all on the likes, dislikes and repurchases. I am going to be honest. They are all winners.

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo

I bought this during the Sephora Spring Sale. I have used about half of the bottle now. I love that it comes in a jumbo size. I wash my hair a lot more often now than I did before (every other day to every 3 days), so this has lasted me longer. I LOVE the scent. The girls even mentioned that it smells really good. It doesn't leave a build up in your hair. It doesn't turn your hair white. It blends in very easily. It doesn't make your head itch and it feels light in your hair.

I love Living Proof's dry shampoo, but I think I like this one even more. I will definitely repurchase when I need more.

NYX Marshmallow Primer

Now I usually use No Poreblem as my makeup primer, when Biana recommended this, I had to try it. I used a gift card that I had from Ulta to purchase it. I LOVE the smell of it. It isn't too sweet, but it definitely has a vanilla marshmallow scent to it. It comes out in a thick mousse like consistency. It blends in very easily to the face and it isn't greasy at all. Some of the reviews I read said their face was greasy when using this, but mine never has. And that is wearing it all day, taking walks outside and it makes my makeup stay. 

It is about the same price as my No Poreblem, but I find this easier to dispense and it goes on smoother and easier. I still have a lot of the bottle left and I will be repurchasing it when it comes time. Also, I only use one pump of it and it covers my face and neck.

Chanel Le Volume Mascara

Now if you know me, I am super picky about my mascara. I LOVE Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara. It is my go to mascara. So when I did Rent the Runway, they sent me some Chanel products to try...a mascara (the one above), a moisturizer and some perfume. I have used them all and really love Chanel products minus the price tags.

I used all of the travel size mascara. I love this mascara. Do I love it more than Tarte's? Not sure. BUT after the full washing my hair shower, my lashes are always damp and never take mascara as good as when I don't wash my hair. But when I use the Chanel Le Volume Mascara, they always look great post shower. 

Since I used the whole travel one, I bought a full size. It is about $11 more than the Tarte mascara, but I am using both of them now. Chanel post hair wash shower and Tarte otherwise. I think they both are great mascaras and have a spot in my makeup drawer.

FHI Unbrush Wet Brush

I bought this brush off of Amazon a month ago and I LOVE it. I don't use any other brush now. And I want to purchase two more for my girls. This brush is amazing for detangling hair. It is light, vented and very durable. I have extensions and it never pulls on my hair. It can also pull through thick hair easily. 

I loved it when I tried it on my dry hair, but it is a real star with wet hair. It brushes through tangles easily, doesn't pull out a bunch of hair when you brush and it helps dry your hair faster when you blow dry it because it is vented.

It is less than $14 and easily my favorite purchase this year. I can't say enough good things about this brush.

Olaplex Shampoo and Conditioner

Again, I purchased these during the Sephora Spring Sale. I also purchased the Hair Repair Perfector, but I feel like I need to use the Hair Repair Perfector before I give my review and opinion. I don't use it every time I wash my hair is why.

Anyways, I really like the Olaplex Shampoo and Conditioner. I love the shampoo because it lathers very well. I put about a nickel size drop on my palm and distribute it through my hair. I lather it up a bunch and then put my head back in the water for a second or two and then lather it even more This really helps distribute it, lathers better and gets all of my hair without using a ton of product. 

The conditioner I don't do the same method since it doesn't lather like the shampoo. So I end up using a bit more, but I do that with my Kerastase line as well. It leaves my hair soft and my hair is becoming even more healthy. I am seeing growth on top where I was seeing breakage and my hair just feels really clean.

I alternate between this line and my Kerastase Blond Absolut Shampoo and Conditioner. The Kerastase line keeps my blonde very blonde!

So as you can see, all winners this time!
Friday, May 20, 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 all! We have another busy weekend ahead. We have 3 softball games, a birthday party for another set of twins, and a massage. Next week is just as busy with the end of the season softball party, a fun modeling shoot, and Memorial Day weekend. And can I mention the amazing weather we have had all week?

Anyways, onto Friday favorites and Happenings.

ONE. Remember how I got the Always Pan from Our Place? Well, I love it so much that when the Perfect Pot released, I knew I wanted it. BUT I always wait for a sale and grabbed it Mother's Day weekend. I got it in the same color as my pan, charcoal, which has a brown tint to it. 

The Perfect Pot comes with the pot, a lid, a spoon with some cut outs on it and a tray for the bottom for steaming and roasting. You can bake in this, roast in it, steam in it and cook just about anything. It is a 5.5 quart capacity as well. 

You treat it the same way you treat the pan. Always let it cool before cleaning it. I use a sponge to clean it as it wipes out so easily. Seriously so easy to use and clean.

Perfect Pot

Perfect Pot

Perfect Pot

TWO. Last weekend my mom, sister, my sister's mother-in-law, some friends of my sister and some of their moms all got together for another High Tea. This is the second time we have done high tea in our area and it was just as much fun. 

You get to chose the tea of your choice and this time I chose a strawberry chocolate. It was sooo good. Even better than the lavender vanilla that I chose the first time. They have about 15 teas to chose from in all caffeinated levels. And everyone gets their own tea pot and place setting.

Then we were served four different finger sandwiches: cucumber and dill, egg salad, roast beef with horseradish, and a toast with brie, prosciutto and apples. We also got a cherry scone with clotted cream, lemon curd and raspberry jelly. Then on top was a shortbread cookie, homemade vanilla marshmallow, chocolate covered strawberry and a truffle (carrot cake and rocky road flavors).

High Tea

High Tea

High Tea

High Tea

I wish we would have gotten a photo of all 8 of us, but we were too busy enjoying each other's company, eating and having tea. So much fun!

THREE. The girls are seriously growing up so fast. My mom and dad got them these dresses from Costco for Mother's Day, but it was too cold to wear them that day. It snowed here and was in the 40s that day. Anyways, they wore them last Sunday and I had to snap a photo before I left for high tea. 

Look how grown up and beautiful they are!

FOUR. This week the girls had a music program with their whole first grade class. I recorded almost every song they did. And fun fact, they sang half their songs in Spanish. Their music teacher said that at their age, they soak in other languages and teaching them some Spanish, especially with songs, helps their vocabulary and helps them retain the languages.

Here are two snaps from after their program.

FIVE. Weekly funnies.

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

Monday, May 16, 2022

Father's Day Gifts

 *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 were just celebrating Mother's Day and now I am already thinking about Father's Day. Dads are difficult to shop for. Let's be honest. I always have a hard time. I already started shopping for Rory and planning what we are going to do for him. I made dinner reservations and purchased one gift already. I am not sharing it here just in case he reads this post. Not likely, but maybe. And I may even shop my own post later on for another gift to add for him.

Father's Day Gifts

Bleu de Chanel Cologne  Rory has this cologne and loves it. He tried it somewhere and had us out buying it that very weekend. I admit, I LOVE this scent too, and I have a sensitive nose.

Apple Watch Band  This isn't something that Rory has, but I think he would like it as he has an Apple Watch and often complains that he can't dress it up. With this band, you could.

Yeti Hopper Soft Cooler  This is another item that Rory doesn't have, but looks so cool. Whether you are tailgating, golfing, camping or backpacking, this would keep your food and drinks cold.

Vuori Kore Shorts  Rory has a lot of Vuori things. I am almost 100% positive that he has these shorts in several colors too. They run true to size as well.

On Cloud 5 Running Shoe  Rory does have this shoe and loves it. He wears it just for daily wear rather than running in, but he says it is very comfortable and stylish.

Moccamaster Coffee Maker  Now I know this is an expensive gift, but we have one and love it. I use it ever single day that I am at home. When I am in the office, I use my Nespresso.

Melin Hydro A-Game Hat  I got this hat for Rory for Christmas or a birthday about a year or two ago. He loves this hat. It floats in the water, is perfect for golf (breathable) and it has a secret compartment inside to put money, a credit card, etc.

Lululemon Commission Pants  Rory does not have these pants, but he does have the ABC pants and loves them. The ABC pants are more golf like (my opinion) and these are everyday wear.

Eucalyptus Spearmint Stress Hand Cream  (not an affiliate link, just love) I got this for Rory in his stocking and he loves it. He says it smells good, keeps his hands from being chapped and definitely a favorite of his. He already needs a new one.

LL Bean Men's Hooded Robe  Rory has this one in gray and has had it for years. He loves it. It is heavy, but you can definitely use it during the Spring and Summer. I love that it has a good on it. I have even used it when my robe is in the wash.

What is on your list to get your dad or your spouse?

Friday, May 13, 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 all! We have another busy weekend ahead of us. Between two softball games, wedding dress shopping (my friend is getting married next June and she is borrowing my veil) high tea with friends and family, and a movie night Sunday with our friends, we have a lot going on.

I have bought a lot of things recently...mostly on sale and wanted to share some of them with you. Some of them are still on sale too.

ONE. My love for Serena and Lily runs deep. I would buy a lot of my household items from there, but they are pricey. I am on the hunt for a certain bath towel from them and that will be my next purchase. 

Anyways, it is getting warmer (starting today) and we need to transition from our flannel sheets and down comforter with a duvet comforter to something lighter. We have been using the same duvet cover minus the down comforter for the Summer months for about 12 years now, and Rory has had this thing for about 15 to 20 years. It was time for a new one.

So I have been looking online and found one that I really like. It is light, bright and feels very beachy/Summery. It is on sale right now and you can get an extra 20% off with the code: GOFORIT.

Serena and Lily Owens Quilt

Serena and Lily Owens Quilt

TWO. I also bought many items from Abercrombie that I shared awhile ago and sadly, all but two were returned. Most of them just didn't fit me. But I was traveling for work and stopped in an Abercrombie store and was able to try on a bunch of things. While I wanted to buy more, I just didn't have a ton of money on my gift card. I ended up returning items and getting it back on a gift card, so I would use it again at Abercrombie.

Here is what I got. I got them on sale for 15% off when I got them, but their sales are constantly changing.

A&F Order

So the ribbed top says it is a sleep top, but it was not set out that way at the store. I tried it on with the shorts and it was so cute together. It is a crop top, but since the shorts have a higher rise, you can make it so no skin shows or just a tiny bit. And then white linen top is what "goes" with it. They have two options and this one was so cute and perfect on. And let me tell you about these shorts....they are so comfy. The inside of the pockets is so soft. I got a small ribbed top, medium white linen top and a small linen short.

THREE. So I still love my Kut from the Kloth jeans, but I saw that American Eagle was having a sale on their jeans about a week or two ago and I decided to grab another pair of jeans from them. I have had some of my jeans from AE for years and they were starting to wear out (ie the butt area wasn't shrinking back and staying stretched out and the pocket area was wearing out a bit at the top of the pocket). Anyways, I have been wanting to try out their higher rise jeans. I always get their low rise, and I am constantly pulling them up. 

So I decided to try these out. They have a v cut in the front, so they are very flattering. I am wearing them in this picture below. It was my first time wearing them out. I got them in a 2 long.

AE Ne(x) Level V-Rise Jegging

FOUR. I saw these sandals all over social media and wanted to buy them, but the reviews were so-so. I was in Target killing some time after I dropped Walter off at the emergency vet, so I walked around looking for nothing in particular. But I did find these sandals in store and tried them on. I walked around with one of them on and they truly are comfortable. I tried them on in an 8 and they fit, but the 8 1/2 was just perfect. I just wish I got them in black, but they won't even ship them to my house right now. 

I got them in the tan color and I know they will get a lot of use this Summer.

A New Day Bow Sandals

FIVE. Weekly funnies.

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Mother's Day Weekend

I want to start this post off by saying thank you to you all. You all are so supportive and gave me so much feedback and advice on what is going on in my life on Monday's post. So thank you!

My Mother's Day weekend was just what I needed. It started on Friday when I got my nails done. I looked on Pinterest for some inspiration and love the way mine turned out.

Spring Nails

I also had a Mother's Day cookie date with my girls. Since I can't be in two places at once, my mom came to Sutton's class to enjoy cookies, a song and some fun with the girls.

This is a necklace that Avery made for me. I LOVE it.

These are always my favorite. I love reading what my girls think of me. Ha. This is Sutton's.

This is Avery's. She put her middle name instead of her first name.

Sutton also gave me a handmade card and a painting that she made.

Friday after the girls school, we did Avery's homework and then I got ready for the evening. My mom stayed at the house and then met up with my dad, and took the girls out to dinner and dessert. Rory and I went out for our friend's 35th birthday. I stayed out until 9:15, and Rory stayed out until after midnight. I had to get home to my girls, so my parents could get home to watch my nephew early the next day.
The birthday boy, his wife and Rory and I.

Saturday was pretty uneventful. We had a softball game for the girls which they played soooo well. Then we came home and Walter got himself in a pickle. He was running along our fence line barking at a passing dog, when he landed in the fence post well, flipped over and got a massive splinter in his side. Luckily, it went parallel to his body and not perpendicular. 

We shaved the area, did a warm compress and tried to remove it. The photo above was after removing about an inch or more. We let it be and said we need to get him to the vet on Monday. He wasn't in pain and it didn't seem to bother him.

Sunday was Mother's Day. We all slept in. The girls slept until 9:30. The day before must have worn them out. Then Rory went out and got us coffee and scones. We had those, watched some tv and relaxed as it started to snow. Yes, it snowed on Mother's Day. Most of the day.

I made some grilled cheese for lunch and then the girls gave me more presents. Around noon, we opened a bottle of champagne that I got for my birthday, but never drank. And we used our wedding flutes.

Then Rory took the girls out and I had an at home massage for an hour and a half. It was amazing and soooo needed.

After my massage, I drank a ton of water, relaxed a bit and then got ready for our dinner reservations. Rory and the girls took me to a favorite Italian place that we haven't been to in years. Mostly due to covid. But it was just as amazing as ever and our service was top notch which is truly hard to find these days. 

It was snowing on our way to dinner, so we all had to bundle up.

For dinner we started off with fried artichokes. The girls had homemade linguine marinara and garlic bread. I had a lobster pasta dish that had two full lobster tails, a spicy garlicy tomato sauce and fresh pasta. Rory had veal parmesan that was amazing as well. We ended our meal with tiramisu and espresso gelato. So good. And I am sure I still smell like garlic!

After dinner, we rode the elevator back to our car, but went to the top first so the girls could see the whole city from the top. They loved that!

We came home to relax by the fire and went to bed early. It was the perfect day.

Monday I was on the phone off and on with our vets office about Walter. Turns out that vet offices are so behind and can't get anyone in on emergency visits (even though Walter was in recently for his yearly checkup), so we had to take Walter to the emergency vet hospital. This turned into a 4 hour ordeal for me. And you basically drop off your pet and come back after a phone call. And this was after waiting an hour to be seen. 

It is heartbreaking being there and watching people come in and out of the emergency vet crying. That is not a place you ever want to be in. I am just thankful that Walter's problem wasn't an emergency.

Walter had a checkup and everything was great with him. They were able to remove the splinter (which they gave back to me. It was about 2 inches long and it was wider as it went up.), clean it out and give us an anti-inflammatory and some antibiotics. He is doing better already. But they did shave him up even more. Now let's hope he continues to heal and all is good.

And that was my Mother's Day weekend....spilled out into Monday.

How was your weekend?