Friday, July 10, 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.

Sorry for not getting back to everyone's comments on Wednesdays post. I have been really slammed at work and I didn't have much time to do anything other than work hard. So I will get back to more of those today.

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. About a month ago, we purchased a new leather collar for Walter. I went on Etsy to find something new since the other place I got his last collar out, I couldn't even find anymore. His collar lasted a long time. Well, I measured his neck and his old collar and picked my selections. I upgraded to have my phone number added on and when I got the collar, it was way too big. It hung about 4 to 6 inches too long. So I contacted the seller and he said he would fix the collar or remake one. Well, I don't think one needs to be remade, so he fixed it for us. That is amazing customer service. And now I am just waiting for it to arrive in the next couple days.

Here is an example of what I ordered:

TWO. Remember a few weeks ago, I also mentioned that I bought some new tank tops from Target? Well, after wearing them several times, I want to let you all know that they are amazing. I love the this tank top so much that I bought it in 3 more colors. I also said I wasn't sure if the sizing was right, but again, it was spot on. I love this tank. It is currently $8, but you can get two for $14. So worth it. 

And this tank is just as amazing. I bought it in more colors as well. The same deal is going on above.

THREE. While I was looking for my favorite American Eagle tanks (the ribbed ones with the buttons), I noticed they were sold out. But then a fellow blogger said that the Old Navy ones were pretty amazing. And they are on major sale too, $8. So I figured I would try one out and I got the one below. The color I got is sold out (the tan color), but I also want to pick up this blue one. I ordered online and picked up at my local store.

FOUR. This is super random, but I was ordering shoes lately for my mom and I noticed that her shoe size went up. And I realized that my shoe size went up in a lot of my shoes too, but my feet haven't gotten bigger. I asked my dad about this and he said his shoe size went up too. So I recently bought a new pair of black Converse Shorelines since my old ones tore in the back (after many years and lots of wear). I tried them on at the store and bought an 8 1/2. When I got home, I noticed my old ones were size 8. I put the bottoms of both shoes (the one ones and the old ones) together and they were the same exact length. When did shoe companies change their sizing? Anyone else experience this? 

FIVE. Weekly funnies.

I am linking up with A Little Bit of Everything and Becky. Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Quarantine Thoughts and Confessions

It has been awhile since I did a confessions post, so I thought I would write one about quarantine. Enjoy!

- I thought working from home alone was going to be pretty amazing. And while parts of it are, I am lonely. I miss having people around. I liked the interaction that I had with my husband. I just realize how much of a people person I really am through this quarantine.

- I have been walking everyday, but I miss the gym. So I have started running at least once a week. I used to love running, but now I don't. I do it to get a workout. Running just hurts now. My inner thighs ache, my hips take a beating from it and I have no endurance.

- I am over cooking at home. I feel like I make the same things over and over again. I need more variety.

- I miss my coworkers.

- I love getting up right before I have to sign into work for the day. I don't miss the getting ready and 40 minute commute each way.

- For the first three months, I fully embraced quarantine. I showered every day, but I never did my hair or make up. I wore yoga pants and sweatshirts for the first month or two. Then when it got warmer, I wore shorts and t-shirts. But then I started feeling more depressed and had to start doing my hair and make up again. I don't love the process, but I feel more like myself again. I don't always do a full face of make up, but I look way more presentable now. 

- In the beginning of quarantine, I thought this was just temporary. I stayed inside and did my part to only go out when I was grocery shopping or out on a walk. But I thought it would only last a couple weeks to a month. Now we are in week 17 of this. And now that we are so far in, I wonder how we will even get out of quarantine. Will it ever happen? 

- To go with the above statement, I bought a ton of new clothes at the beginning of quarantine. I thought this would only last a few weeks and I wanted to take advantage of all the amazing sales. I bought several things from J Crew to wear to work this Summer and basically all those clothes have never been worn. I am thankful that I got everything at 60 to 80% off, but feel like it was still wasted money. Will we ever go back into the office?

- I have watched way too much tv during this pandemic. But I have also read about 5 books each month consistently now. So I guess they even each other out.

- I am afraid to get on a scale and weigh myself. I have been walking daily and watching what I eat, but the alcohol consumption has definitely gone up in the last few months.

- I miss my friends.

- I am sad that we didn't get to go to Mexico in March, but it was definitely the right decision.

- I am thankful that I haven't had the coronavirus (that I know of).

- I love being at home with my dog all the time. He is the best co-worker/snuggler.

- I have definitely found a love for desserts again during the quarantine. I love making and trying new ones out.

- I am super excited about Rory's new job, but I definitely feel more stressed that I am the only one bringing in money while he gets his career started. I know once he gets really going, it will be amazing and great for our family, but it is still stressful to not know how long that will take.

- I miss how things used to be.

- I am crossing my fingers, toes, arms and anything else I can that we will be able to have in school schooling this year. I want my kids to be safe and things to be extra clean, but I don't feel that teaching them at home is the right thing for my house. I feel like my kids learn and flourish more when others teach them. Plus I have seen the stresses that my friends went through this last school year and I want my girls to have the best education. Things can definitely be done to make schools, teachers, children and staff safe.

And that's it for confessions and thoughts during this quarantine. What are your quarantine confessions?
Monday, July 6, 2020

June Amazon Prime Purchases

* 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 as this pandemic goes on, I haven't bought as much off of Amazon as I did in the earlier months. Or maybe I just haven't needed much. Either way, I only bought three things last month. How is that even possible?

Prime Purchases
linking up with Tanya

Shiatsu Massager - We bought this for my dad for Father's Day and now I really want one. I love how you can use it on your neck, your calves, your back, etc. It is so versatile and it is getting rave reviews from my dad!
Shiatsu Massager

Orlimar Pitch and Putt Carry Golf Bag - I got this bag for our Graeagle trip, but it didn't show up in time. It showed up a week late, but that doesn't take away from the product. This is a small, light weight carry golf bag for when you are playing a 9 hole course or somewhere you just don't need a full bag of clubs. I used my in-laws last year and loved it, so I got one for myself. I used it this last weekend!
Orlimar Pitch and Putt Carry Golf Bag

NeilMed Sinus Rinse - I got this kit as I needed a new bottle and I needed more rinse packets. You are supposed to change your bottle out every 3 months, and this is the same one I order time and time again.
NeilMed Sinus Rinse

And that is all I bought this month. What did you buy?
Friday, July 3, 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.

Happy 4th of July weekend! This 4th definitely looks different. Last year we were up in Tahoe with friends and this year most 4th of July related events are cancelled. We are still making the best of the weekend and enjoying an extra day off today. Stay safe this weekend!

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. After buying our dressers from Pottery Barn, we had a large rewards coupon to use and I just couldn't figure out what to buy. I looked for things on their sister sites, but nothing jumped out at me. But then I realized I could get a runner rug for my hallway. And many of the rugs were on clearance or major sale. So I bought this Cloudscape rug in platinum. I love that it is a bit darker to hide any dirt, but still light enough not to make my hallway darker.
West Elm Cloudscape Rug

TWO. I know it is the day before the 4th, but I got the girls the cutest dresses from Old Navy. Thursday they wore their dresses from last year (Cat and Jack line) and tomorrow they will wear these. I got them in 5T, but they are actually pretty big. They fit my girls well and they can wear them for at least a year. 

Also, I saw this romper online, but it was sold out at our local store. You can still go out today and grab one of these. Or order it online for curbside pick up.
Old Navy Star Peplum Dress

Old Navy Star Romper

THREE. Rebecca has been posting fabric she has recently purchased to make masks. She recently purchased Disney princess fabric and she had Sleeping Beauty. I introduced the girls to that movie recently and they love it. They even had an Aurora dress-up costume. So when I saw the fabric, I asked Rebecca if she could make the girls a mask each. And she did. She sent me this and they are on their way to us. The girls can't wait to use them!! 
Kids masks - Sleeping Beauty

Rebecca has an etsy shop to purchase masks and they are the cutest!!! Go support her!

FOUR. Last night I made this salad that Carissa (@broccyourbody) posted. She said it was a famous LA salad, but that really didn't matter to me. I am always looking for really good salads that I can make at home and this is one of them. I made it just like the directions stated and it was sooo good. I might even add in avocado next time as I just love avocado on everything. Make sure you marinate those garbanzo beans for at least an hour. It really makes this dish. 

FIVE. Weekly funnies.

I am linking up with A Little Bit of Everything and Becky. Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Summer Fun Questionnaire

Happy July 1st!

Earlier this week, Dara posted a Summer Musings questionnaire and I knew I wanted to participate in it. I always love these things and getting to know others. If you participate, let me know, so I can check out your answers too.

1. Lake or beach? Well, Lake Tahoe is my favorite place, so I am going with lake.
Sand Harbor Lake Tahoe

2. Ice tea or lemonade? I really like them both, and mixed together they are really good. But nothing beats a cold glass of lemonade!

3. Favorite Summer vacation memory? We don't take many Summer vacations really as we tend to go on vacations in the colder months like our annual trip to Mexico in March or some exotic locations in the Fall. But I do remember going on an Alaskan cruise at the end of July and it was pretty amazing. It was the only cruise I have ever been on and I loved it. I did get a bit sea sick, but only if I sat close to the windows and looked out or sometimes when I worked out on the boat. 

But we saw glaciers, had a crab feed, went zip lining through Alaska and saw so much wild life (bears, eagles, whales, etc.).
Alaskan glaciers

4. Favorite Summer destination? Close by...Lake Tahoe. Away...Hawaii.

5. Go to summer fashion item? I would have to go with sandals because I wear them every single day during the Summer.

6. Have you ever been water skiing or jet skiing? I have been both along with knee boarding and wake boarding.

7. Favorite Summer movie? There are so many...from Grease to Dazed and Confused to The Sand Lot. 

8. Song that makes you think of Summer? Summer Girls by LFO. Do you remember this song? It came out in 1999. So basically it came out when I was in high school and we would listen to it on the way to Tahoe every single time.

9. Best 4th of July story? This is more of a memory than a story. I can't remember the year, but it was either in college or just after, but some friends and I rented a hotel up in South Lake Tahoe. We went to the beach all day, watched the lake fireworks and then had an incredible fancy late night dinner in one of the casinos on the top floor.

10. Are your fireworks on the 3rd, 4th or another night? They are on the 4th of July.
2011 fireworks in Lake Tahoe
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!