Wednesday, October 30, 2019

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 was really hoping to enjoy this month more, but with everything going on around me, I just haven't been able to. Between work, renovations and health, I just want to breathe. Hopefully November will settle down in at least one of those areas.

Onto this months What's Up Wednesday...
What's Up Wednesday
Sunday: We went to pizza night with a bunch of family that were in town.
Monday: Spaghetti Bolognese with Salad.
Tuesday: One Pan Mongolian Beef with Green Beans.
Wednesday: Out for dinner as the girls have swim class.
Thursday: Halloween, so probably take out or pizza.
Friday: Not sure.
Saturday: Hoping to have food at the tailgate, but we don't have a babysitter for the girls yet.

WHAT I'M REMINISCING ABOUT... Being less busy. Ha. I am also reminiscing the holidays last year. I really hope we get to enjoy my favorite time of the year with everything going on.

WHAT I'M LOVING... The holidays coming up, travel, sweaters, boots, and all things Fall!!

WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO... I have been working my butt off. I got a rush case at work and I have been soooo busy. Like I have to force myself to take a lunch because I have way too much to do in such little time. We are also starting our renovations, so that should be a fun, awful, crazy and adventurous experience.

WHAT I'M DREADING... Renovations. It is already kicking our butt. You just want to get started and there is so many things that have to be taken care of before you can start. And then change orders, stuff being back ordered and budgets getting blown out of the water.

WHAT I'M WORKING ON... Work, renovations and trying to make this holiday season fun for the girls even though we are renovating at the same time. What was I thinking? Ha.

WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT... The holidays. I look forward to this time of year every year. There is so much cheer, fun, amazing movies, things to do, sights to see and seeing it through your children's eyes is even better!!!

WHAT I'M WATCHING/READING... I was doing so good with my reading. I read Final Girls and The Turn of the Key on my last work trip and they were both really good. I started The Silent Patient and I was really into it, but with being so busy at work, I haven't had time to read it. And when I get home, I am sooo tired after doing all the home life stuff that I haven't finished it. Ugh.

I am watching all the Fall shows: This is Us, Grey's Anatomy, the Affair, I'm Sorry, Insatiable, Mindhunter, Million Dollar Listing New York, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Riverdale and a few others. I am really into Mindhunter right now.


WHAT I'M WEARING... I wore my new LL Bean flannel for family photos last weekend. I also bought a few items at Evereve when I was in Texas and those have been on rotation. I also got the softest tank top to wear under my family for family photos and it was great. It is form fitting and tucks into your pants easily since I have the hardest time with body suits (they are never long enough on me).LL Bean Women's Signature Flannel

And then I am really loving this outfit that I bought in Oklahoma. I wore it out to date night last Friday as well.

Court and Rowe Midi Metallic Skirt

WHAT I'M DOING THIS WEEKEND... Relaxing....We have a fun lead testing appointment, parent teacher conferences on Friday, a home football game that we may not be able to attend and hopefully sleeping in with the time change.

WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH... November brings on the holidays. I have a work trip coming up and I am hoping the weather is ok there. I can't wait to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and prepping for our Disneyland trip!

WHAT ELSE IS NEW...So I had my one month post-op nose appointment and my nose is healing so well. I can breathe so much better. But when I did the post-op, he pulled some scabs out of my nose and it totally grossed me out. He said he could only get one side out as the other one was still stuck and he said it would about the size of my index finger. Ugh. Gross too. But it is healing well and I go back in a month for another follow-up and scab removal.

We are renovating our house....the bathrooms, flooring in main living areas, closets, carpet in the bedrooms and lighting. I will document the progress like I did with our kitchen. 

Monday, October 28, 2019

Texas and Oklahoma

As you all already know, but I was in Texas for work and then Oklahoma for fun. I had the best time and it was soooo nice to see some friends. But I am back and managed to get a post together of my trip. I couldn't include a lot of what I did as I can't put my work stuff out there, but I did get to have some fun in between work.

I flew into Dallas, Texas and stayed in the Highland Park/University Park area. Why this is important will come later. Anyways, I worked and worked and had fun in the evenings. I even snuck in a little trip to Magnolia Silos at the end of my Texas part of the trip.

So what did I do?
 The most delicious black pepper and truffle pasta.

 Avocado fries. I could eat these everyday.

 I got to FINALLY meet Lynn from Motherhood in Motion. We have been blogging friends for many years. We text often and I was sooo excited to meet her. She was everything I imagined and more. Go follow her blog. Her daughter had a helmet like my girls did, they are the same age, are all in dance class and just have so much in common. Lynn was amazing!

 Fort Worth police awaiting Donald Trump's arrival. I was working in Fort Worth when this happened and I got caught up in the chaos for over an hour while this was going down.

Chip's Corner at Magnolia Silos
 Yes, I bought a bunch of stuff here.

Magnolia Silos

 A trash can rice dish I had from a food truck. Amazingly good!

Magnolia Silos

Magnolia Silos

Magnolia Silos Bakery

Magnolia Silos Bakery

Magnolia Silos

Magnolia Silos Bakery
What did I end up getting? The Shiplap - vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream and it was just as heavenly as I imagined. Soooo good.

I also drove around Waco a bit and saw how the show translates into real life. What I mean is they always profile these No Trespassing houses and they have a ton of them in Waco. I wish I knew where more of the completed houses were because I would like to see those. I also went to the outlet Magnolia store and bought a few items there.

And then I flew to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to see my best friend. She picked me up from the airport and we spent three days together. It was sooo much fun. I got to see her little girl, Charlotte who is 5 months old and I have been dying to meet in real life. We facetime often. We shopped, we went to her husbands office at NOAA and got a tour, we toured Oklahoma's campus, we had a girls night, we cooked, we binged watched shows and just caught up. It was soooo needed and I miss her so much!
 Baby Charlotte

 This was a sign inside a "club/lounge" we went to on girls night.

 Girls night

Totally missing her and having babies in my life.

It was a fast 7 days, but so amazing and sooo needed.
Friday, October 25, 2019

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.

Have you ever had one of those weeks that you can barely get a moment to breathe? That was this week. I had promised posts, but I just couldn't get one out. I have been busy from the moment I walked into work until I walked out and then I thought about my cases once I got home. I am still super busy, but I managed to write a post during my lunch break yesterday and get it out. And luckily, I am off today for Nevada Day!

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. First....we are spending the day today shopping for all things bathroom and flooring. Yep. We signed our contracts, secured our financing and are now picking out items to start our home renovation. This is going to be a long (for us) process and I am nervous but so excited for the outcome. I plan to take before photos and progress photos as I did with my kitchen remodel.

Here are some inspiration photos for the girls and my bathroom.
bathroom renovatings
love this except those mirrors (via)

And our closets.
closet renovations

redoing your closets

TWO. Last weekend while I was in Oklahoma, I went shopping with Nathalie since the weather changed so much between the time I was packing and the time I was actually in Oklahoma. We stopped by Nordstrom Rack and Dillards among a few other stores. I bought a colorful midi skirt and a "crop top" that ties in the back. It ended up being a super cute outfit and I can't wait to wear it out on date night!!!
My skirt (in black)  |  Top  |  Jacket  |  Shoes

Court and Rowe Midi Metallic Skirt

Moa Moa Back Tie Shirt
 Moa Moa Back Tie Shirt (I got mine in black)

Moa Moa Back Tie Shirt

THREE. Also while I was in Oklahoma, I started a new show with my friends. It is called Mindhunter and it is on Netflix. They know I love a good serial killer show or murder mysteries, so we watched two episodes while I was there. I was instantly hooked and watched another 4 on my way home.

Mindhunter is about an FBI agent who wants to find out why killers kill, how they think and get into their minds. They interview people who have killed more than one person. They call them sequence killers and later serial killers. They interview many different serial killers over the course of this show. Some that I never knew about, but shaped the whole theory on serial killers.

I am almost done with season one and season two is already out. I am hoping season three will be out soon because this is a great binge worthy show.

FOUR. After traveling around, I saw a few pairs of moto leggings that I wanted. The problem was they were on people, so I had no idea where to look for them. I found two pairs online that I really like. Have any of you guys wore either of these? Or do you have a recommended pair? I am tall...5'9" so I need to make sure they can fit my legs.
Spanx Moto Leggings

Alo Yoga Moto Leggings

FIVE. Weekly funnies.

I am linking up with AprilA Little Bit of EverythingMeet @ the Barre and Becky.

Have a great weekend!
Monday, October 21, 2019

Still Weekending

I didn't have time to get a post together this weekend since I am in Oklahoma. I thought I would be able to upload some photos of my weekend here, and my travels last week, but I was busy. Plus I am flying home today and things (wifi and internet) were not cooperating at the airport to upload to this site.

But I will be back Wednesday with a recap. Have a good Monday and week!!!
Friday, October 18, 2019

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 Friday all. I have been traveling all week. I got back from the Bay Area after visiting family and I headed to the Dallas, Texas, area the next day. I spent the rest of the week in Dallas and now I am flying to Oklahoma to see my best friend and her little one. Then I will be flying home on Monday. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. Last week, Nadine had her Friday Favorites post up and posted about this beautiful Charlotte Tilbury Cream Eyeshadow. I LOVE all things Charlotte Tilbury, so I checked it out last weekend while I was in California. It is legit. So pretty and I feel like I can wear it without any other shadows on my eyes. Usually I have three different ones to complete my look. This will make things easier when I travel and only need to bring one shadow. I am not sure I will use it daily as I love my Tarte palette and my mini Charlotte Tilbury palette, but this one is a good change up!!! I got it in Marie Antoinette as well.
Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize Cream Eyeshadow

TWO. I have talked about this magically stuff before, but I just want to reiterate how amazing it is. I love Kerastase's Blond Absolu Purple Mask. I used it for months and then ran out. Well, my salon also ran out twice, so I bought the Blond Absolu Conditioner instead. While it is still a purple conditioner, it doesn't do what the mask does. That stuff is golden. It keeps my blond, blond and makes my hair oh so smooth. 

I got my hair done last week and I asked her if the reason my hair was brassy and not bright was because I used the conditioner and not the mask and she said it probably was. The mask takes the brassiness out of the hair and keeps your blond, blond. So I bite the bullet and re-purchased the mask. I won't use it daily since I have the conditioner, but I will use it several times a week. Yes, I wash my hair almost daily. I do use dry shampoo about twice a week.
Kerastase Blond Absolu Purple Mask

THREE. I know a bunch of you go to Disney often and get the cutest shirts to match each other. I want to do this for our trip in December. But I am not sure which ones to get. I have looked around a bit on Etsy, but if you have a seller that you love and have worked with, please send them my way. I am even ordering one for Rory, so it needs to be a good one and something he will actually wear.

FOUR. So I finally tried the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks. I have been wanting to try it for a long time and it did not disappoint. I am not a huge pumpkin spice person, but this was amazing. It tasted like pumpkin pie, but it wasn't overly sweet. I wish I could get one of these daily, but they do have quite a bit of calories compared to the Sweet Cream Cold Brew at Starbucks that I get.

But you best believe, I will treat myself every so often to one of these babies. Have you tried one?

FIVE. Funnies for the week.

I am linking up with AprilA Little Bit of EverythingMeet @ the Barre and Becky.

Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, October 16, 2019

10 FAQs on Microblading Eyebrows

I got my brows microbladed last week and I had a few questions that were sent to me on the process. I thought I would share the answers here. I am sure most of this is repeat to what you can find on the internet, but it is also from my experience. If you have any other questions, let me know.

1. Does it hurt? Yes. Is it excruciating? No. If you are properly numbed (the first time over 2 years ago I wasn't), then you won't think it is that bad. Even my friends who have very low pain tolerance said it wasn't that bad. I think it feels like getting your eyebrows waxed or plucked over and over again. If you have ever had an extraction during a facial, know that microblading is way less painful than that.

2. How much does it cost? This varies depending on where you live. I have seen numbers from $300 to $600. I paid $435. Mine includes the touch-up session.

3. Which is a better option for me? Microblading or Powder brows? This is one of the ones I did some research on and asked my person about. Basically, if you don't have a lot of hair on your brows, it is great to get the microblading so you get the look of having fuller eyebrows. If you color your brows in every day religiously, then powder brows are a great option for you. It gives you the look of permanent eyebrow pencil. Then there is the combo which is some hair lines created during microblading and then the shading during powder brows.

For my first session, I got the microblading and after I heal and go back for my touch-up, we may do a combo.

4. How long is the healing time? It takes anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks for your brows to heal. This depends on your skin. If you have oily skin, it will take longer to heal. If you have drier skin, it will take less time. You DON'T want to pick off the scabs as they are healing. Let them naturally fall off.

5. What if I don't like the results? If you don't like the results, you can either wait until your touch-up appointment to fix the problems or go back to your microblader now. I have seen another option, but it just doesn't seem like a good one and probably risks infection.

6. What is the healing protocol? This also depends on your microblader. I have seen dry and wet healing protocols. I live in a dry climate, so the wet healing is a better option. But if you live in Florida with lots of humidity, then you can probably do the dry healing.

For the wet healing, you will wash/clean your brows with a gentle cleaner like cetaphil, baby shampoo, etc. Then you will put on an ointment on up to 4 times a day depending on how oily your skin is. If it is oily, then you can probably do it 2 times a day. You don't want to touch your brows other than to put the ointment on it and clean them.

When you put the ointment on, make sure you wash your hands and dab it on with your finger. This allows you to the control the pressure and not get any cotton on the area.

7. What if I have a reaction to the pigment or process? You should seek medical attention and also let your microblader know.

8. What color should I chose for my brows? This all depends on you. I used the color of my eyebrow pencil as a guideline. Then she chose four colors that were similar and put dots on my forehead close to my hairline to see which I liked the best. I also asked her opinion too.

9. What shape of brows should I get? This is all preference as well. You can look at a guideline for your face shape and see what type of an arch you should have. But basically, I told her I wanted my brows to look natural, but with a slight arch. I didn't want a crazy high arch as it would look funny on my face. But other faces are amazing with higher arches.

10. When should I get my touch-up?
 This is usually done 8 to 12 weeks after the initial session. I booked mine for 8 weeks out.
10 FAQs on Microblading Your Eyebrows

Monday, October 14, 2019

Show Me Your Books

* 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 read three books and I started on another. I am hoping to read five this next month. We shall see. These three books are great and I would recommend them.

Girls Like Us - Cristina Alger
Girls Like Us - Cristina Alger

I think it was Missy (from My Shitty Kitchen) who recommended this book and I am glad she did. Just when I thought I knew who killed the girls and why, I was thrown a complete twist. This book keeps you guessing and hoping it isn't who you think it is. And seeing the past and how it relates to the future made this book even better. I would give this book 4 1/2 stars.

Here is the synopsis:
FBI Agent Nell Flynn hasn't been home in ten years. Nell and her father, Homicide Detective Martin Flynn, have never had much of a relationship. And Suffolk County will always be awash in memories of her mother, Marisol, who was brutally murdered when Nell was just seven.

When Martin Flynn dies in a motorcycle accident, Nell returns to the house she grew up in so that she can spread her father's ashes and close his estate. At the behest of her father's partner, Detective Lee Davis, Nell becomes involved in an investigation into the murders of two young women in Suffolk County. The further Nell digs, the more likely it seems to her that her father should be the prime suspect--and that his friends on the police force are covering his tracks. Plagued by doubts about her mother's murder--and her own role in exonerating her father in that case--Nell can't help but ask questions about who killed Ria Ruiz and Adriana Marques and why. But she may not like the answers she finds--not just about those she loves, but about herself.

Confess - Colleen Hoover
Confess - Colleen Hoover

I started this book towards the end of my "rental" period and I made it half way through before it was returned. I tried to extend my rental, but that didn't happen. So I waited about two weeks and I got it again and finished it in two days.

I really enjoyed this book. I liked the opening and figuring out how Auburn and Owen were connected. You don't find that out until the very end. But you do get bits and pieces as it goes. Owen is an amazing painted who has an open studio once a month. But in the meantime, he has a box outside of his studio to submit confessions. And then he takes some of those confessions and paints a piece for them. Then he displays the painting with the confession next to it. All anonymously.

Auburn ends up working for him on his open house night and Owen knows he knows her. And then it just unravels from there. I really enjoyed this book. Like a lot. It is different from other Colleen Hoover books and I am ok with it. I would give this between 4 1/2 and 5 stars.

Here is the synopsis of the book:
At age twenty-one, Auburn Reed has already lost everything important to her. In her fight to rebuild her shattered life, she has her goals in sight and there is no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is keeping a major secret from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

To save their relationship, all Owen needs to do is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin.

The Bankers Wife - Cristina Alger
The Bankers Wife - Cristina Alger

Missy recommended this book to me and I knew I had to read it. I was a bit confused at first because you go back and forth between characters, but I caught on pretty quickly. Matthew and Annabel moved to Switzerland for Matthew's banking job with Swiss United. Matthew dies in a plane crash on his way home from London with another woman on the plane. All sorts of things go through your head like an affair or how another book I recently read went down. But things start to unravel and you are wanting to know what went down. It also makes you think about how something like this has probably happened before. 

The story also focuses on a journalist named Marina and how she is trying to uncover what happened to Matthew and if the banks dealings are really good in nature.

I really enjoyed this book and would give it 5 stars.

Here is the synopsis:
On an early morning in November, a couple boards a private plane bound for Geneva, flying into a storm. Soon after, it simply drops off the radar, and its wreckage is later uncovered in the Alps. Among the disappeared is Matthew Werner, a banking insider at Swiss United, a powerful offshore bank. His young widow, Annabel, is left grappling with the secrets he left behind, including an encrypted laptop and a shady client list. As she begins a desperate search for answers, she determines that Matthew's death was no accident, and that she is now in the crosshairs of his powerful enemies.

Meanwhile, ambitious society journalist Marina Tourneau has finally landed at the top. Now that she's engaged to Grant Ellis, she will stop writing about powerful families and finally be a part of one. Her entry into the upper echelons of New York's social scene is more appealing than any article could ever be, but, after the death of her mentor, she agrees to dig into one more story. While looking into Swiss United, Marina uncovers information that implicates some of the most powerful men in the financial world, including a few who are too close to home. The story could also be the answer to Annabel's heartbreaking search--if Marina chooses to publish it.

The Banker's Wife is both a high-stakes thriller and an inside look at the personal lives in the intriguing world of finance, introducing Cristina Alger as a powerful new voice in the genre.

Friday, October 11, 2019

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.

We survived another week. I feel like time is just flying by. We are almost at the end of a decade and that to me is just crazy. Soon it will be Halloween and then Thanksgiving followed by our Disney trip and then Christmas. And with all the other crazy things happening in our lives, it is sure to come quickly.

I am out of town the next week for work and a bit of fun and I couldn't be more excited. I get to meet Lynn from Motherhood in Motion and go see my best friend in Oklahoma and meet her little one. This is a long time coming and I can't wait.

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. I got my brows microbladed on Wednesday. If you remember, I had them done before, but it was a disaster. It took 4 hours for the initial visit and 4 hours for the touch-up. They both should have taken less than 2 hours each. And it hurt soooo bad. It was really awful, so I had my worries this time around. wasn't that bad. 

They numb you up and I filled out a form while it was setting. Then she answered some questions about the procedure and then I looked at Instagram on my phone until the 30 minutes were up. Then she did the mapping on my face. She uses some sort of string and draws on it to get the lines to go on your face. Once she has it mapped, then she draws around it and creates your brows. Next, she put four dots of color on my forehead to see which color I liked. I told her I use the Anastasia Brow Pencil in taupe, so something similar to that. We ended up mixing two colors to get my desired color.

Then she started the process. I chose microblading for my first session, but I may add in the powder brows as well in my touch-up for a combo look. It took her about 30 to 45 minutes to get all the strokes in and she put on the numbing cream between each pass (full pass on each brow). 

This time was so much easier. Do you have any questions on microblading? I can put together a post on your questions if you all would like.

 After - my brows weren't nearly as red as last time and I wasn't in pain. So much better.

Thursday morning before getting ready for the day.

TWO. So I have no idea if I mentioned it on here, but we are going to renovate our house. We did a kitchen renovation three years ago this month. It was a long and tough process. You would think we would have learned our lesson, but we didn't. 

We have been going back and forth on if we want to sell our house and buy a new one, renovate our current house (more completely) or just leave it be. Well I didn't want to just leave it be and after lots of chats with our family, talks with friends who are really into real estate and talking to our mortgage broker, we decided to renovate. 

We are going to renovate two of our bathrooms completely and one involves moving plumbing and gutting the entire thing. Our half bath will get a new toilet and vanity as it has new floors from our last reno. Then we will put new wood floors in our living room dining room, hallway and closets. Then we are having all of our closets redone. And new carpet in all of the bedrooms. We have a few other minor things happening as well.

I am excited, but nervous. And today we are starting to pick out material for it. Have a bathroom you love or a bathroom you always swoon over? Send the pictures my way. I love inspiration photos and home renovation shows.

THREE. I am an ambassador for Shop Miss Lulu Pearl and I recently got two amazing items. I bought a beautiful cardigan sweater that I wore to Apple Hill and I bought some leather earrings. I have been wanting a pair of leather earrings for a long time and never bought them. Well when she offered them to me as part of my ambassadorship, I couldn't resist. I got them in black as I wear black all the time. Next, I want the rose gold ones.

Here is the cardigan I got:

And these are the earrings I got:

You can use my code (Danielle10) for 10% off any item. Also, follow her on Instagram as every Wednesday she releases new items and has items for pre-sale. That is when I got the cardigan above.

FOUR. Funnies for the week!

I am linking up with AprilA Little Bit of EverythingMeet @ the Barre and Becky.

Have a great weekend!