Friday, February 28, 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.

And just like that, we are at the end of February. I still can't believe how fast this month went compared to January. We still have one day left this month, but then we roll into March. We have a lot going on next month and can't wait for all the fun.

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. So I tried the collagen peptides powder in my coffee and I didn't like it that much. I felt like it altered the way my coffee tasted. Rory didn't think so, but I felt like it gave my coffee and cream an artificial flavor. So after Rory finished the container, I told him I was going to buy the capsules and he can get the powder or try the capsules like me. Well, the capsules are a better price, so he went with that. Plus this one has all 5 collagen types when the powder we used only had 1 and 3. 

So this one supports joints, vitality, anti-aging, tones, strengthens nails and hair and skin elasticity. 
Vital Vitamins Collagen Complex

TWO. I recently bought a few things from American Eagle. I needed some bralettes and found that these are so much more comfy than the Pink ones I used to get (that was so long ago). But I also found a cute tie dye shirt, a bathing suit (it was buy one piece, get the other free) and I got a free pair of jeans. Did you know that after you buy so many pairs of jeans (I think it is 5), you get the next one for free? I didn't until I got my free pair and you best bet that I grabbed one. 

After years of spending so much money on jeans, I finally found the A&E Next Level Jegging and I haven't turned back. These are the best jeans and they are usually $39, but are often on sale.

Anyways, here are a few items I picked up recently and I am loving them. Plus they are having a sale right now...30% off and killer deals on clearance items too.
AE V-Neck Jegging T-Shirt

Aerie Ruffle Scoop Bikini Top

Aerie Eyelash Lace Plunge Bralette

THREE. I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a one piece bathing suit. I don't remember the last time I wore one. Maybe as a kid? But anyways, I saw this bathing suit and it has amazing reviews, so I went for it. And it actually looks good. Will I fully change over to one pieces? No, but now I have other options in my swim attire. This seriously looks good on all body types.
Cupshe Women's Orange and White Bathing Suit

FOUR. A PSA for all you moms. Since we are heading on vacation soon, we knew we needed to load up on sunscreen again. I grabbed two bottles of this sunscreen from Target and they were on sale (online). They are normally $14.99, on sale for $11.24. I am having them delivered to us. This sunscreen is on the list of the best and safest sunscreens (link here). I also got the girls their usual Blue Lizard Sunscreen, but it wasn't on sale.
Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Spray

Blue Lizard Kids Sunscreen

FIVE. Weekly Funnies.

So awful, but yet funny.

I am linking up with A Little Bit of Everything and Becky.

Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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 am seeing all these memes that said January was about 14,000 days and February was 36 minutes. I most definitely agree with them all. January was awful and took forever to get through. February is almost done and this month has an extra day due to leap year.

I don't feel like we did a ton this month since I had surgery and spent a lot of it recovering. But here we are at the end of February.

Also, today is my parent's anniversary, so I wanted to give them a shout out! Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Onto this month's What's Up Wednesday...What's Up Wednesday

Sunday: Penne alla Vodka with a salad
Monday: BLTA's with sweet potato fries
Tuesday: Tuscan Lentil Soup
Wednesday: Out. The girls have swim class, so we go out after they are done.
Thursday: Out since I have an appointment after work.
Friday: Sheet Pan Mongolian Beef
Saturday: Out with just my girls since Rory has a Nevada basketball game during dinner time.

WHAT I'M REMINISCING ABOUT... Nothing really. I feel like February doesn't have any huge milestones in it.  Sure, you have Valentine's Day, but we had a low key Valentine's Day. I gave the girls a few things, got Rory a card and we had a steak dinner at home.

WHAT I'M LOVING... This warmer weather. I don't want to jinx it, but we have been having weather in the 50s and low 60s. This is a huge change from the teens we were experiencing in January with no snow. I am all about Spring time and warmer weather. Bring it on.

WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO...We are finally close to ending the renovation project. We only have a few items left to "fix" and then we can call it done. I have already been buying things like rugs, bath mats, organizers, cleaning items and what not to keep our house looking just as beautiful.

This month, I had surgery, so I spent a lot of it recovering. I am really hopeful that this is my last surgery and I can move on with my life. Ugh. 

WHAT I'M DREADING... Nothing really. Maybe some snowstorms. I am all about the warmer weather and just want some sunshine.

WHAT I'M WORKING ON... Decorating all the renovated areas of the house. I am trying to get ahead on blogging and trying to finish up some collaborations.

WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT... I am finally going on my work trips again. I have had quite a few trips that I need to take, but I have been dealing with tests and the surgery stuff that I wasn't able to book any. Well now I am. And I am hoping to see a former blogger along the way.

WHAT I'M WATCHING/READING... Last month, I read Her and Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover. I haven't read anything since. I blame it on surgery and binging all the shows. I have a few books that I have on hold and I hope one becomes available soon.

I am watching all of my usual favorites like: This is Us, Grey's Anatomy, Riverdale, The Bold Type and Good Girls. While I was recovering from surgery, I watched the following:

Unbelievable (so good, but a little disturbing to think that this happens all the time.)
Virgin River (I heard this was a book, but never read it. I LOVED the show and I can't wait for season 2 to come out.)
The Mind of Aaron Hernandez (I felt like I knew the case and what happened until I watched the show, only 3 episodes, and realized that I knew nothing really about him and the case.)
Living with Yourself (it was ok.)
To All the Boys I've Loved Before - PS I Still Love You (so cute. I liked the first one better, but this one was still worth the watch.)


WHAT I'M WEARING... I lived in my 90 Degrees leggings while recovering from surgery. I also wore a lot of sweaters. Since I am back to work, I have been wearing my dress slacks and light sweaters. Nothing too exciting this month.

WHAT I'M DOING THIS WEEKEND... I am taking the girls to a princess tea party on Sunday! My friend hosts an annual princess tea party and the girls look forward to it every year. I also do, as I get to hang out with my friends!

WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH... March brings an overnight work trip to Vegas, another trip to Florida and North Carolina and then our Mexico trip. We also celebrate Rory's birthday in there and my cousin is due this coming month as well. So much good stuff in March!

WHAT ELSE IS NEW...Not much.
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Top 3

Yesterday Dara posted about her Top 3s. I love those posts and getting to know others better, so I thought I would join in on the fun. Especially since I didn't get a post out yesterday.

These are my Top 3…

Three things I like about January:
A fresh new year and a new decade!
Time slows down. Except this year, it slowed down way too much!
Nothing else.

Three things I like about February:
The weather starts to warm up.
We celebrate love and my parents anniversary!
We try to get a date night in not on Valentine's Day.

Three vegetables I eat the most:

Three grocery items I buy every week:
Protein Bars

Three things we go through like crazy in my house:

Three things I always have time for:
My Girls
The gym

Three things I never have time for:
Sick kids/dog
Organizing the house.
Friday, February 21, 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.

This is the first post that I have written in awhile. I had most of my previous posts pre-written knowing that I was having surgery and wanted to make sure I didn't fall behind. I am doing so much better and each day I feel a little more energized and healed.

We don't have much planned this weekend and I am ok with that. But tonight, Rory and I are going to our steak dinner for his Japan trip. I can't wait! I am also hoping to sneak in a little time with my friends this weekend since it has been forever since I have seen them.

What do you have planned this weekend?

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. Since we are going to Mexico next month, I wanted to start buying things that we still need for our trip. Like some sunglasses for the girls. They have a few pairs, but none of them are polarized. They did have some cute ones from Babiators, but one of the ear pieces broke off one pair. I didn't want to spend a ton of money on them because they are kids and they easily get lost or broken. So I searched around and found these. They are rubber and flexible, so hopefully they will last through our trip. And they are polarized which you definitely want when you are in Mexico. I grabbed two pairs for $14.99 (total). Such a steal. They have amazing reviews too.
Kids Polarized Rubber Flexible Sunglasses

TWO. Speaking of sunglasses for Mexico, I also grabbed a pair for myself. I saw this ad on my IG stories for Blenders sunglasses in this pretty pink color and took a look at them. I got these for $25 with a Valentine's Day sale. They are pretty, polarized and cheaper, so I won't be crushed if something happens to them. Sometimes we can't have nice things when we travel.
Blenders Guava Queen Sunglasses

THREE. Another item that I have been looking for is comfy sandals for the girls. My girls love sandals and I want a pair that will stay on, are comfy and can last through a lot of walking. I picked these up on Amazon and I hope they like them. I will have them wear them around the house for a day or so and see if they are comfy and live up to the hype. I have had many Reef sandals in my day and they were always comfy.
Reef Girls AHI Sandals

FOUR. So I took the advice of Missy and uploaded a photo of my dining room and put some of my favorite rugs from Rugs USA into it. I had the perfect one picked out and then I browsed a few other Pottery Barn and West Elm. And then I found the new rug that I really want. And it is priced pretty well, but I think I will wait for a sale on it. You know, to get the absolute best price. Ha.

Here is the rug that I chose. It is from West Elm and the color is midnight.
West Elm Verve Rug in Midnight

FIVE. Weekly Funnies.

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

Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

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 made a goal to read four books a month and so far, I haven't accomplished that. I blame that partly on having surgery at the beginning of this month. I didn't want to read because I was binging shows and not retaining enough information to really enjoy a book. And yes, I still have a week and a half left of February, so maybe, I will get my four in. Just maybe. But let's take a look at what I did read.

Her - Britney King

I have had this book in my kindle for a long time. Every time I was about to read it, I got another loan from the library and never read it. I bought it so long ago that I kind of forgot about it. But once I started it, I finished it quickly. 

It starts off with Sadie, whose marriage is on the rocks and her life is at a standstill. She soon befriends a local celebrity and wants to be just like her. She becomes best friends with Ann. Ann is the epitome of everything Sadie wants to be. Even her husband thinks that Sadie should take some advice from Ann's books and change herself. But when Sadie starts to see who her best friend really is, does she really want to be just like her? And to what lengths would she go for her friend?

I had no idea the twist or big reveal that was coming. I thought it was something completely different, but I really did enjoy this book. I would give it a solid 4 stars. Definitely worth the read, but know that it may be a little much at times.

Here is Amazon's synopsis:

Sadie is jealous. Why wouldn't she be? Her life is falling apart. Meanwhile, her new neighbor is everything she is not.

Ann is perfect--the kind of woman everyone loves to hate--and a best friend to die for. She hosts over-the-top dinner parties, takes parenting to an entirely different level, and makes ambition look sexy as hell.

Sadie learns quick: the best way to cure jealousy is to befriend it. She also learns there's more to her new friend than meets the eye. She's patient, she's kind, and possibly a serial killer.

It isn't until Ann's proclivities hit a little too close to home that Sadie has to ask herself how much she's willing to overlook in the name of getting what she wants.

Exquisitely paced,Her is an unnerving and electrifying psychological thriller about jealousy, passion, and the dangerous places desire can take you. Full of enough tension and twists to make even the most seasoned suspense reader break out in a cold sweat, it keeps you guessing until the very last page.

Maybe Someday - Colleen Hoover

When I "rented" this book, I had no idea that it was a two part book. I have been reading everything by Colleen Hoover and this is one that I hadn't read yet, but I am glad that I did.

It starts off with Sydney who goes to college, lives with her best friend, has a boyfriend of two years and everything just seems perfect. She even has a crush across the courtyard that plays amazing music. She is always sitting on her balcony listening to someone play the guitar.

Ridge befriends her when he notices that she loves his songs, bobs her head to the songs and has been writing lyrics to his songs.

When Sydney finds out that her boyfriend has been cheating on her with her best friend, she has nowhere to go. Her friend from across the courtyard befriends her with the promise to help him write lyrics to the songs he creates.

This creates an inner battle between Sydney and Ridge. They are starting to fall for each other, but Ridge has a girlfriend. What will happen?

If you have read any of Colleen Hoover's books, you know the struggles she illustrates, the love she creates between her characters and the inner battles they fight. This was a good book and I look forward to reading the second one.

I would give this 4 stars.

Here is Amazon's synopsis:

At twenty-two years old, Sydney has a great life: She's in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter's cheating on her--and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by Ridge, her mysterious neighbor. She can't take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there's something about Sydney that Ridge can't ignore, either. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one...

Original music created for Maybe Someday by musician Griffin Peterson can be accessed through the website listed in the ebook and paperback.  
Monday, February 17, 2020

Happy President's Day

We are still weekending and enjoying ourselves. I hope you are too. I will be back on Wednesday with a Show Me Your Books post.
Friday, February 14, 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 Valentine's Day to you all! Do you have anything planned? This morning, we gave the girls their Valentine's Day gifts, so they could wear those cute heart leggings to school. They loved everything and I think I spent less than $12 on each basket. 

I feel like today shouldn't be anything special as you should celebrate your loved ones every single day. But I do like to give my girls a little something extra. I hope you all have a great day and weekend!

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. I have been shopping around for rugs in our house since we now have wood and tile floors in most of our house. The bedrooms are still carpeted (new). But since adding in the new floors, you can definitely feel the coolness of the tile and the wood. That is why I mentioned last week that I bought two new bath rugs/mats for my bathroom. Rory is still choosing what he wants in his bathroom

But I have been hunting new rugs for under our dining room table. I found one I really like, but I feel like I need to sit on it (not actually sit on it) before ordering. Buying a rug is a hard decision because you can't really tell what it is going to look like in a house. Here is a picture of my flooring (in the hallway) and here is the rug that I am thinking about. What do you think? Where did you purchase rugs for your house at?

Blue Faded Shadow Mystique Area Rug

TWO. On February 1st, I went to my cousin's baby shower. They have no idea what they are having, so we all took guesses. Her shower was bee themed and it was so cute. Plus the cookies we had were amazing and I plan on using the cookie girl in the future for a party. How cute was her shower?

 Not even close to half the gifts she received.

 The amazingly delicious cookies.

Part of my family that was at the shower.

THREE. So we are going to Mexico (again) in March and we are bringing the girls this time, plus my in-laws. The girls haven't been in a couple of years, and we are excited to take them. But we are also cautious. Where we go in Mexico is pretty safe, but they are beautiful little girls, so we are taking extra precautions and definitely being very watchful over the girls. 

The girls are super excited to swim everyday (we have a pool at the condo), eat all the yummy food, spend time in the sunshine and go on excursions with us.

But that also means that I need to kick my butt into gear for an early swimsuit season. Ha. I workout very consistently, but I definitely try a bit harder before vacation. Anyways, this also means that I have been looking at February. Who wants to do that? Not me. I hate the idea of going into a store and seeing myself in those dressing room mirrors. They are the worst and I hate the lighting. I prefer to buy online, ship it to my house and see myself in my natural light or at the least the lighting in my house. 

So send me your favorite swimsuit shops, or swimsuits. I used to buy mine at Victoria Secret, but now they only sale Pink swimsuits. 

FOUR. I know that it isn't time for my monthly Amazon prime purchases, but I had to share this little gem a blogger recommended to me. I have been wanting something to put all of my wrapping paper in. I wanted one around Christmas, but I didn't want to pay $30 to $40 for it. When the blogger posted about this on IG, I instantly bought one and now my wrapping paper has a home and it is easy to move around and store. This thing is amazing and cheap too. $8.06 is a steal.
Clear Zipper Gift Wrap Organizer

FIVE. Weekly funnies.

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

Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Roasted Brussels Sprouts - Recipe

When I was growing up, my mom would make brussels sprouts as a side dish for dinner and we hated them. But she would boil them and they were like little awful cabbages. The smell was the worst. Luckily, after we tried them once, she didn't make us eat them anymore.

Fast forward to my adult life and I never wanted to try them again....until I was in NYC for work. Someone ordered them roasted with garlic and after I tried one, I was hooked. Now I eat them pretty often. I love them saute'd, but they are even better roasted.

This is my go-to, easy recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts.


1 lb Brussels Sprouts
Salt (Pink Himalayan is the best)
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar


1. You need to prep your brussels sprouts first. I take off the first layer of leaves and then I chop off the bottom stem area. Then I cut my Brussels in half and sometimes in quarters depending on how large each sprout is. Make sure you wash your brussels sprouts.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts

2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

3. Place your brussels on a cookie sheet with raised sides. Drizzle olive oil all over your brussels. Freshly grind your salt and pepper over yourbBrussels sprouts.

4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until your brussels sprouts are browned. I stir them around half way through.

5. Take your Brussels Sprouts out of the oven and let them cool off for 5 minutes. Then I drizzle Balsamic Vinegar on my roasted brussels sprouts. You do not want to be heavy handed with the balsamic vinegar as you still want the brussels sprouts to have their own flavor.

6. Enjoy.

Now I know this is a very simple dish, but sometimes simple is the best. I have tried many different versions of brussels sprouts and this is my favorite.
Monday, February 10, 2020

Valentine's Day 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.

As I said last week, I am not sure who all celebrates Valentine's Day, but I thought I would throw out a few ideas out there. I am all about gift cards, bottles of wine or just a nice dinner at home. But if I were to receive something this year, I am not opposed to jewelry or a heated blanket. Hint Hint.
Women's Valentine Gift Guide

Make up Pink Diamond Organizer I have this make up organizer, but not in the pink and it is awesome. It holds most of my make up, allows you to see everything and you can take the top part of it off.

Kendra Scott Heart Necklace in Pink Drusy Someone else posted this necklace and I loved it. I really want to buy it for myself, but I decided against it and hope that I get it for Valentine's Day or just an everyday gift.

Corkcicle Diamond Wine Tumbler I have this tumbler in a different color. They are amazing and keep your wine cold.

Pink Jade Roller I have heard great things about the jade roller, but never tried one myself. I like this one in pink.

Tieks Ballet Flats Tieks are amazing shoes. I love their ballet flats. I have one in a light pink color and wear it all the time. It has held up for years. You can fold the shoe into itself for travel. These shoes are so comfortable and cute.

Lauren Knotted Headband I haven't gotten into the headband trend, but this one might be my first purchase. I love the look of it and I can wear it to work or just everyday.

Saranoni Ballet Pink Blanket Saranoni blankets are the best. We have one at home and we all fight over who gets to use it daily. I usually share it with the girls, but I know Rory would love one of his own. Or get me a new one and he can have our old one. These are the best and they hold up to everyday use, washing and pets.

Heated Blanket I want a heated blanket for my office. It has been so cold in our office and this would make me feel so much cozier. Or I can use it on my bed for when I first crawl in. I love a warm and cozy bed.

What do you want for Valentine's Day? Are you celebrating this year?
Friday, February 7, 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.

Today I head into surgery, so please wish me luck and maybe send out a prayer or two. I will be reading blogs and answering comments from you all next week, but I won't be around that much. I do have some posts planned, so I hope you still read here next week.

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. Bri asked me if I was doing a kids gift guide for Valentine's Day this year and I hadn't even thought of doing that. So I decided to put some gift ideas on here for the little ones. I do get my girls a few things. Target dollar spot has some awesome items right now. I bought the girls the red heart pants below, the strawberry Burt's Bees chapstick, some candy, a puzzle from the dollar section and some Valentine socks and hair clips/ties. I found a Valentine bin in the dollar section to put everything above in it.

Here are some gift ideas for the little ones:
Love from The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I always try to get the girls a book for every holiday. Ok, not every holiday, but Valentine's Day, Easter, Birthday, Christmas, Halloween, etc.

Light-Up Terrarium Kit

I bought this recently for a birthday party the girls are attending this weekend. I thought it was a very cool gift idea and the girls will be receiving one each for Easter.

Melissa and Doug Scratch Art Notes

A friend of mine purchased these for her kids for Christmas and they have been a huge hit. She writes them notes all the time and the kids use them to draw and play.


The girls love putting together puzzles and I got them a Frozen puzzle each as part of their gift.

Valentine's Love Socks

I also get the girls socks for most holidays and this holiday was no exception. Plus they love hearts, so these will be worn for way longer than Valentine's Day.

Burt's Bees Strawberry Chapstick

My girls love chapstick and they really love Burt's Bees, so I got them a strawberry flavored one for Valentine's Day.

Cat & Jack Heart Leggings

I am a sucker for anything hearts and I got these for the girls to wear on Valentine's Day. Plus they can wear them the rest of the year since they are not just Valentine's Day leggings.

I also include candy, bath products, card games, gardening items, etc for other fun gifts. 

We don't get each other many items for Valentine's Day, but I do want to shower the girls with a few things.

TWO. So this isn't a favorite, but more of an update. Walter took a turn for the worse on Sunday. He threw up and had diarrhea again. He didn't have blood in it until Sunday evening.

We had Super Bowl plans that we had to cancel since we couldn't leave Walter alone. He threw up twice and tried a few more times, but nothing would come up. And then he wouldn't stop going outside to go number 2. It got so bad it was just liquid coming out of him and we had to follow him each time to see if it had blood in it.

After cancelling our plans, I headed back to the Emergency vet to get him more of the food he was on for about a week and to grab more probiotics. Walter hadn't ate anything since the night before and we wanted to try to get him to eat. He didn't want the food until 7 pm. We gave him the prescription wet food with some probiotics and he finally ate. Though he continued to have diarrhea all evening with a little blood in it after we went to bed.

That night we had to get up with him when he went to the bathroom to check his poop and make sure he didn't have blood on his booty. This kept us up until around 1 am.

Monday morning, he ate his food and seemed better, so we headed to work. I called his regular vet to get a prescription of the food, but they wanted to see him. So Tuesday afternoon, we took Walter in. They gave him a check-up, gave him more antibiotics, a stress probiotic, asked us to get a fecal sample and prescribed him the food we requested plus some for stress.

So Walter has been on that for a few days and he is getting back to normal. But we are pretty sure, he will be on this food from now on. And we are awaiting the test results from the fecal sample. 

THREE. I have been shopping for items for the house since our renovation is wrapping up. Last weekend, I bought two new bath mats/rugs for my bathroom. One is a memory foam mat that feels amazing on your feet when you step out of the shower and the other is a long one that spans the length of my vanity. Both are beautiful and feel nice on your feet.
Pottery Barn Organic Loop Bathroom Rug

Pottery Barn Memory Foam Bath Mat

I got the second bath mat on clearance at my local PB.

FOUR. Weekly funnies.

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

Have a great weekend!