SOCIAL MEDIA

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to drop in and say Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! I hope your day is filled with lots of love and full bellies!
Wednesday, November 27, 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.

Happy day before Thanksgiving. I was going to have a post ready for Friday, but with Black Friday shopping and family being in town, I just decided that most people probably will be out and about or doing something other than blog reading. So I will be back on Monday with some Amazon Prime Purchases for November.

Onto this month's What's Up Wednesday...What's Up Wednesday
WHAT WE ARE EATING THIS WEEK...
Sunday: Penne ala Vodka with a salad and garlic bread.
Monday: Shepard's Pie (recipe coming soon)
Tuesday: Dinner at my in-laws house to see our pup!
Wednesday: Out for dinner as the girls have swim class.
Thursday: Thanksgiving dinner at my in-laws house.
Friday: Dinner at family's house for another Thanksgiving.
Saturday: Out since we have our last home football game of the year!

WHAT I'M REMINISCING ABOUT...

Thanksgiving's past and all of our loved ones who have passed recently who won't be here with us. Here is a look at some of our past Thanksgivings.

2018

Chuckwagon themed thanksgiving
2017 (Remember, we have a themed Thanksgiving on Rory's side of the family)

Radio Flyer Wagon Thanksgiving walk
2016

2015

2014

WHAT I'M LOVING...

Well I am loving all the things. I went Christmas shopping in Philadelphia and I bought so many gifts for everyone else. It took everything in me not to buy myself a bunch of things. I did buy myself this top since it was 70% off. Perfect for Christmas.
J Crew Satin Top (It is still on sale for $19)

WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO...

Well I just got back from a trip to Pennsylvania and New Jersey. And we started our home renovation on Monday, so you can say that we have been cleaning, packing, purging and donating so much. I also decorated for Christmas other than our Christmas tree last weekend. With the holidays, our renovation and our Disneyland trip coming up, I wanted to enjoy Christmas a little longer. Usually Rory hates when I decorate early, but he was good with it this year.

WHAT I'M DREADING...

Nothing really. Ok, I lied. I am dreading this renovation. I want to snap my fingers and it all be done. I love the idea of the end result, but hate going through the process.

WHAT I'M WORKING ON... 

Cleaning, purging, donating and packing our house up. With the renovation and the holidays, it feels good to purge things and donate things. We have donated so much lately and it is awesome. We only donate the good things. Otherwise, we purge them.

WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT... 

Thanksgiving, family time, cutting down our Christmas tree, Christmas, Disneyland, and the girls birthday. So much amazing things coming up.

WHAT I'M WATCHING/READING... 

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 LISTENING TO... 

Christmas music!

WHAT I'M WEARING... 

Well I have been wearing my jeans, boots, booties and sweaters. It is finally cooler here and I am enjoying all the sweater weather. Here are some of my more recent favorites.

This blazer is a total winner!!! I ordered a medium.

Felicia Velvet Blazer (not sponsored or affiliate link. I just love this blazer)

This sweater came with me to Philly and it is the softest!

And these are my favorite jeans. I love them and have about 4 pairs in different colors and lengths. I want to order another pair since they are currently 40% off.
AE Next Level Jegging

WHAT I'M DOING THIS WEEKEND... We are cutting down a Christmas tree, having a one day late Thanksgiving dinner, going to the last Nevada home football game and then painting and wine with some family that is in town. Finally, Sunday night, I have my friend's 60th birthday party. How crazy is that?

WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH... Disneyland, Christmas and the girls birthday. I can't believe I will have 5 year olds next month. And it will be the girls first time going to Disneyland. They still have no idea!

WHAT ELSE IS NEW...

I have some updates on my health that I am not ready to share yet. I know, why even mention it? But I have more tests coming up and once I have more answers, then I will share more.
Monday, November 25, 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.

I am a little late in the month getting this post out. But once again, all of these books were great. Maybe that is because I was recommended all three of them.

Turn of the Key - Ruth Ware
Turn of the Key - Ruth Ware

I started reading this book on the plane and I was hooked instantly. I wanted to know what Rowan was escaping from in the city and more about this weird house. The books starts off with a girl begging a lawyer to take her case. She writes him over and over in hopes he will hear her out. 

The book goes back and forth between her being in prison and her in this house. Every nanny who came before Rowan had stayed for a short time and Rowan seeks to find out why. She finds clues in her bedroom and slowly pieces it together. But then a huge twist is revealed.

Just when you think you figured it out, you realize that you have not. This book keeps you gripped until the end. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

Here is the synopsis:

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Final Girls - Riley Sager
Final Girls - Riley Sager

This book reminded me of old school horror films. I don't know why, but it just did. The books starts off with Quincy. She survived a mass murder ten years ago. The murder has plagued her since the day it happened, but Quincy lives a seemingly normal life. She is coined as one of the Final Girls. A final girl is someone who has survived a horrific tragedy. She was the only one to survive.

Quincy is a pretty well known blogger and after ten years, two other Final Girls come back into her life. But one ends up dead and the other two final girls are left to wonder what happened and if their lives are in danger.

This book was good. There are parts that are slower, and you just want to get to the root of what happened. You go back and forth between the night of the murders that Quincy survived and present day. But the end is really good.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

Here is the synopsis:

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls: Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.
 
Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancĂ©, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.
 
That is until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit; and Sam, the second Final Girl, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.


The Silent Patient - Alex Michaelides
The Silent Patient - Alex Michaelides

I started this book on the flight home from Dallas and it gripped me right away. But once I was home, I had put the book down for a few days. I had mentioned it here on my blog and everyone said read it before the digital loan ended. So I finished it in a day and a half after that. Everyone was right. This is a good book.

Alicia is a brilliant painter and is married to Gabriel. Everything seems great until Gabriel ends up dead and Alicia is left to blame. After Gabriel's death, Alicia paints one last painting and ends up in a pysch ward. She never speaks again. 

Enter Theo who is a pyschotherapist and he is intrigued by Alicia's case. He is also intrigued by her old works of art. Specifically the one she painted after Gabriel's death. Theo sets out to get Alicia to talk, so everyone can find out what really happened the night of Gabriel's death.

This books has twists and turns that are really good. I didn't see the ending coming and it was worth it.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Here is the synopsis:

Alicia Berenson's life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London's most desirable areas. One evening, her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face and then never speaks another word.  
Alicia's refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London. 

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations - a search for the truth that threatens to consume him....
Friday, November 22, 2019

Christmas Gift Guide for Babies and Toddler

*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 don't have babies or toddlers anymore, but I do have a niece and nephew that I still shop for. I have rounded up the girls favorites from when they were smaller and some items I know they would have loved. Some of these items, my girls still play with and use today.
Christmas Gift Guide for Babies and Toddlers

Madeline Book or any book
Madeline Book

This is one of my girls favorite books. They can recite every word with me as I read it. I get the girls books every holiday and I wanted to share one of our favorites. They also love Olivia, A Sister More Like Me, Night Night London, etc.

Flappy the Elephant

We do not have this, but I know some kids who do and they love it. I am thinking about getting it for my niece.

Crate and Kids Tee Pee

My girls have this tee pee, but in a different print and they LOVE it. They make forts with it, hide in it and still play in it almost daily.

Sit N Spin

Outon Light Up Scooter 

Crate and Kids Tee Pee Floor Cushion

We also have this tee pee floor cushion that fits perfectly inside the tee pee. 

Kidkraft Kitchen

The girls got this kitchen from my sister when they turned one. It took me about 4 hours to put it together, but they loved it soooo much. We recently just gave it to a friend, so their kids could enjoy it. My girls got a ton of use out of it.

Pottery Barn My First Anywhere Chair

My girls don't have this chair, but they do have the bean bags which they love. We did get this for my nephew and he uses it all the time. 

Melissa and Doug On the Go Water Wow

These are a huge deal in our house. I got them for the girls stockings last year and they still use them. You fill the brush up with water, they paint (which means apply water to the page) the page and the paper turns colors. When it dries, it goes back to white, so they can do it again and again. We even got them for my nephew. Plus they are great for road trips and on airplanes.

Sophie

The girls loved their Sophies when they were teething. And my friend's daughter that I visited in Oklahoma is obsessed with hers. 

Kidzlane Piano Mat

My girls didn't have this, but they loved the piano mat at the Discovery Museum, so I am sure they would have loved this.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Gift Guide for Men

*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 think the hardest gift guide to put together is the men's gift guide. I asked my husband for some suggestions and he only gave me one. He said he needed time to think about some gifts. So I searched on my own and came up with a few. 
Christmas Gift Guide for Men

Solo Stove
Solo Stove

When we went camping this summer, our friend had one of these stoves and it was amazing. You can use it in your backyard on your grass. It has very minimal ash left in the bottom and is an all around great stove.

Sorel Madson Waterproof Boot

These boots are perfect for work and play.

Ugg Ascot Slipper

I feel like this is an amazing gift. My husband, dad, FIL and BIL all have these slippers and love them. They hold up for years.

Business Carryon Suitcase

I think this is a great gift for any traveler. The front pops out to put your laptop, ipad, work papers, etc which is really nice when you are trying to get to your work stuff while you are on the airplane. I know I have done that many times and I have to dig through my carry-on to find it.

Yeti Beer Coozi

Magnetic Collar Stays

I know my husband has to wear collar stays often when he wears a suit and he says they always bend and move around. This should help them stay in place all day long.

North Face Down Vest

My husband has a down vest and it is either by North Face or Patagonia, but I do have a North Face one and I LOVE it. It keeps me warm, is stylish and perfect for winter days that aren't too cold.

Ridge RFID Wallet

This was the one suggestion Rory gave me. He was in Canada and saw a few guys who had these wallets and insists that he wants one now. He kept talking about how minimal they are, how they protect your credit cards and how durable they are.

Ugg Hank Joggers

Who doesn't love a comfy pant? I swear by Ugg clothes, blankets, shoes and sheets. These look so cozy. I even want a pair in women's for myself.

Tumi Travel Kit

Now I know this is kind of expensive, but I have the female version and I love it. It has held up for many work trips, personal trip and actually stores all of your toiletries. I bought mine from the Tumi outlet and got a killer deal. If you can find this bag at an outlet, grab it. If you can't, I would still buy it.

What is on your guys Christmas list?
Monday, November 18, 2019

Gift Guide for Women

*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 don't know about you all, but I really do buy a lot of gifts from these gift guides that bloggers post. Now I want to caveat that with this...I follow a bunch of bloggers who just shill and shill and I rarely buy anything they post about. But then there are bloggers who I find authentic and actual buy and use these things and I will definitely buy from them.

Plus it is sooo difficult to shop for some people and getting ideas totally helps.

Today I have a gift guide for Women. Even more specifically, things that I really want or have.

Lates by Kate PJs
Lates by Kate PJs

I have a nightgown in the same material and I love it. Now I want the pj pant set. They just released a bunch of colors and prints for it.

Aurate Gold Ball Studs

I have a gold ring from Aurate and I love it. Now I want these simple gold ball earrings to match and for everyday wear.

iRobot E5 Pet Series

With renovating our house, we will have wood floors, tile floors and carpet. I really want a iRobot to help pick up the pet hair and dust between sweeping and cleaning.

T3 Whirl Trio Wand

My beloved curling wand is on its last legs. The top came off and won't stay screwed in and it is just worn. I have been searching for a new wand and this one fits the bill. Plus I can have three different sizes for when I cut my hair. Right after I get my hair done, I need a smaller barrel, but right before I get my hair done, I can use a larger size barrel. Plus it is on sale for $199.

Charlotte Tilbury Starry Eyes to Hypnotize

I wrote about this palette a few weeks ago and I still really want it.

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings

I already have these leggings, but they are amazing. They suck everything in, are long enough for me, stay up and give you the ultimate figure. I was skeptical about them, but I bought them during the Nordstrom sale and I LOVE them. This would make a great gift.

Northface Beanie with Pom

I love a good beanie and this one reminds me of the one I got in Ireland, but in black and gray. I definitely could use a new beanie!

C.C. Fuzzy Gloves with Smart Tip

Emily recommended these gloves and I always need new gloves for traveling. Plus these ones have smart tips so you can type with gloves on.

Sam Edelman Hilty Bootie

I love a good bootie and I don't have any that are higher than my ankles, but lower than my knees. Enter these beauties. I definitely could use these in my closet.

Ugg Ribbed Crew Socks

If these socks are anything like the sheets I have, then they will be a winner. I love cozy, comfy and warm socks.

True Roots Cookbook

I tried two recipes out of this cookbook while I was in Oklahoma. I had an acorn squash breakfast dish and a chicken dish and both were amazing good and easy to make. Now I want the cookbook for myself.

What is on your Christmas list?