Wednesday, May 5, 2021

We Bought a New SUV

Happy Cinco de Mayo all!

So I feel like I should have mentioned this awhile ago, but I didn't. And I tried to write about this in a Friday Favorites post (last week) and it was just too long for a favorite, so I changed it into a post of its own...

I never told you all this, but we bought a new car a few months back. I am not sure why I didn't tell you all. So this is how the story goes...back in November I had someone ask me to purchase my car when I was at a local grocery store. I thought it was a bit weird, but the guy was in his 50s and I had seen him before at the store, so I knew it probably wasn't a scam. I told him no that I had no interest and went about my day.

The next day I looked up my cars value (2018 Honda CR-V) on Kelly Blue Book. I must have clicked the wrong link in there because not even 2 hours later I was getting a bunch of local dealerships calling and emailing me about my car. I hadn't even put any of my info in, but you know how the internet is. Anyways, I looked into the price and told Rory about the calls. And at this time, I had about $11K in equity on my SUV.

I was getting about 5 calls a day. It was crazy. I kept telling them I wasn't interested in selling my car. I did talk to the Mercedes dealership more as they were just so persistent. And I dreamed of a Mercedes, but knew it wasn't within our budget.

Fast forward a couple months and we thought, if my car has that much interest, maybe we should sell it and get a family car. Something we can both drive around (even though I drive it mostly) and has more room for the kids as they get older and have friends in the car. 

So we test drove some cars over a couple weeks. We test drove the Acura MDX (like the Honda Pilot but luxury), Audi Q5 and Q7, Volvo XC 60 and XC 90. Also, I did a bunch of research on the cars in between the weekends that we test drove these cars. We also looked at (online) the Genesis GV80, the Infiniti QX60, and the Kia Telluride. I also started following The Car Mom on IG for some negotiating advice, for her amazing car tours and to see what my options out there were. She has a ton of car tours on her website and she has the one we ultimately picked.

We quickly took off the Infiniti and Genesis as they were in Sacramento and we didn't want to drive 2 hours every time we had a service. Then we took off the Acura. I loved my Honda and the Acura was really super nice, but we wanted something different. And then we took off the Kia Telluride as we would have to order one since our Kia and ones within 250 miles were sold out. And we didn't even have one near us to test drive to see if we liked it.

I have always wanted an Audi and I loved the Q7. The seats in the second and third rows move with a simple push of a button. It is all electronic. It has a great 360 camera, an Audi light that projects to the ground when you open the doors, a great sound system (super important for me), it handled well, had great horsepower, beautiful interior, well made, large moon roof and so many other creature comforts. 

The Volvo XC 90 had a large moon roof, massaging chairs, a cabin air filter, amazing sound system, tons of space, was very fast, had 4 different "road/speed" features (eco, everyday use, dynamic and off road) a refrigerated glove box, so many creature comforts and amazing reliability.

We took another week or two to figure out what we wanted to do. I know both vehicles are luxury vehicles and have great reviews, reliability and are more within our price range (Mercedes and Range Rover are not). But when it came down to it, the Volvo will last longer. The salesman at the Audi dealership told me that the Audi is amazing and that is all he drives, BUT they are short term cars meaning they are meant to last for 100K to 150K miles. The Volvo can go way longer than that. Plus the Volvo has built in booster seats in the back (they are the only vehicle to do this so far). I am a huge fan of that.

So as you can guess, we went with the Volvo XC 90. The XC 60 was amazing and cheaper, but we wanted more room with a third row.

So I introduce you to our car...

Volvo XC 90

Volvo XC 90

And now you know. And no we won't be buying a new car for a long time. Hopefully at least 10 years. 
Monday, May 3, 2021

Amazon Prime Purchases - April

*This post contains affiliate links. When you click a link, it is no cost to you and I make a small commission (pennies) from it. Thank you for supporting Sparkles and Lattes. 

It's time for another round of Prime Purchases. I didn't much much this last month and that seems to be the common theme when I don't have birthday gifts, Christmas or big holidays coming up.

So what did we buy this last month?

linking up with Tanya

Kids Sleep Masks (2 Pack)

We have hit the stage where the girls get scared of the dark, being in their room at night and are wanting to be near us all the time. I check on the girls each night before I head to bed and I started noticing Avery was putting her pillow over her face at night. I asked her one morning why and she said because she was scared of the dark. I told her that she has her night lights, but she was still scared. So I suggested they try sleep masks. So far they work out pretty great. Now to fix the nightmares that Sutton has been having that keep her up some nights.

Powder and Bronzer Brush

I bought this brush because my powder round that I use was ruined. The girls got into my makeup one day and put on the NYX lip gloss that is meant to stay on even with a mask. They also put on mascara, bronzer and eye shadow. And they used my expensive powder round to put it on and try to take it off. I tried cleaning it, but it was ruined. So I decided against spending $16 to $20 on another round and got this brush instead. It has worked great and it is less than $8.

Iron Supplement with Vitamin C

So I had surgery back in January, and I had a follow up for it. I had to have a blood draw and it turns out my iron is really low. Like way low, so I was told an iron supplement would be beneficial to me. And my doctor said to get one with vitamin c because iron is hard to absorb and it will help. So far it has been helping and I am not as tired as I was feeling (perks of being anemic).

Tide Washing Machine Cleaner

So we all know that I normally use Affresh to cleaning my washing machine. But since following GoClean on IG, I decided to give this a try. She says Tide powder is amazing and cleans most things. So when she recommended this cleaner instead of the Affresh, I had to try it. It took awhile to get in and I just got it, so I will try it and report back.
Tom's Children's Toothpaste

This is the girls favorite toothpaste and we were out, so I got a three pack. So much easier than remembering to get it at the grocery store.

VGA adapter to HDMI cable

This is a random purchase, but I needed this adapter for work. I didn't want to rely on our IT department getting it in before we had to start back at work two days a week, so I bought one. I am so glad that I did because two weeks back in the office and they still don't have any.

Steve Madden Travel Sandal

Remember when I got these shoes in the clear color? Well, I loved them so much that I bought them in tan. I get more compliments on these (both pairs) shoes than any other shoes that I have. They are comfy, have no break in time and are fun. Plus they are on mega sale.

Mario RC Scooter

The girls had a birthday party yesterday and we needed a gift. The boy loves Super Mario, so hopefully he will enjoy the gift. And one thing I wanted to point out...this boy went to preschool with the girls and they haven't seen him other than friend gatherings once or twice since they all went to Kindergarten. Well when they all saw each other, it was like no time had passed. I just love that!

Bissell Cordless Hand Vac

So I bought a new car handheld vacuum. And while I LOVE my Shark vac for inside my house, I wanted something for on the go. As I said on Friday, a fellow IGer said amazing things about this vacuum and I knew I had to have it. It comes with a regular charger and an usb charger for charging on the go. This is a moms dream for being on the go.

So what did you purchase this last month on Amazon?

Friday, April 30, 2021

Friday Favorites and Happenings

*This post contains affiliate links. When you click a link, it is no cost to you and I make a small commission (pennies) from it. Thank you for supporting Sparkles and Lattes.

Happy Friday all! I can't believe we are at the end of April already. AND...

I had to!

Anyways, onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. I am sharing this again on Monday for my Amazon Prime purchases, but I had to share it now. I bought a handheld vacuum for my car. I have seen Jacci recommend this vac time and time again. And while I LOVE my Shark vac for inside my house, I wanted something for on the go. 

Rory (lovingly) told me that he hates driving our car and seeing my hair on the ground. Well I hate when you pee on the floor or the toilet seat, but I digress. Plus my girls eat in the car, track in dirt and I love a tidy car. So I bought this vac which includes an usb charger with it. And now I keep it in my car and can clean up the messes easily. So amazing. So worth it!
Bissell Cordless Hand Vac

TWO. I have been wanting a certain bathing suit for months. Ok, maybe a month or so, but it was sold out before I went to Mexico. And this week it came back in stock, so I purchased it. Yes it is expensive, but I like to have at least one really good bathing suit in my collection each year. I have lots that are cheaper and I don't mind when I have to say goodbye to them.

Anyways I got this suit in the bikini version, but it has a high waist bottom. It also comes in a one piece that is just so dang pretty. Anyways, I can't wait for it to arrive.

This isn't sponsored nor are the links below affiliate. I just wanted to share.
Oleena Luxe Bikini Top

Olenna Luxe Bottoms

Olenna One Piece

THREE. I was watching Lindsay's stories this week and she had the cutest shorts on before baseball. Well someone asked about the shorts before I did and she posted a link to them. So I swiped up and grabbed myself a pair. I hope they are as good as everyone says they are. I love wearing jean shorts and haven't found any that I love since I bought my Joe denim shorts a few years ago from Nordstrom Rack. 

I will definitely report back if they live up to their hype. And they are only $17.99. Such a good deal.
Universal Thread Denim Shorts

FOUR. I forgot to mention another other item that I got last week when I was in Vacaville....first up, I got the Serena and Lily Riviera chairs that I have been wanting forever. I got the counter top stools and I couldn't be happier. These are sooo worth the money. Well, I am not sure I would pay the $348 per chair price, but I would if I had a lot of money. I got my chairs at the outlet store. Now they opened two outlets, one in Vacaville and one in Berkley. They told us they did this to give back to the community who made them so popular. They are all brand new chairs, nothing is wrong with them, they are just over stocked and want to give a deal to locals. 

I took a few pictures of chairs in the store and then the ones that I purchased.
Serena and Lily Riviera Counter Stools

Serena and Lily Riviera Counter Stools

Serena and Lily Riviera Counter Stools

They also had some bath and hand towels that I really wanted, but only one of each. Ugh. And they said they rarely get any of those in.

FIVE. Weekly funnies.
Isn't that the truth? Though Rory's best man gave a pretty awesome speech.

Somedays I am definitely like this.

What is that?

I laughed at this all week.

This is how I felt all quarantine and now I am living it two days a week.

This applies to my kids too. They eat so many baskets of chips.

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

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

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 haven't participated in a What's Up Wednesday since February, so I thought I would this month. Especially since I haven't been doing weekend updates or many life updates.

Anyways, onto this month's What's Up Wednesday...What's Up Wednesday
Sunday: Meatball subs with Caesar salad
Monday: Red curry noodles with fried coconut garlic
Tuesday: Out since Rory has an early softball game.
Wednesday: Unsure.
Thursday: Unsure.
Friday: Dinner out with my friend Nathalie who is coming into town.
Saturday: Dinner out again with Nathalie and friends.

WHAT I'M REMINISCING ABOUT... The days where we were working from home all the time. I know I just went back part time, but I am all about working from home. Not only am I more productive, but I had a good routine going there. I really hope we can keep the hybrid schedule and not go back into the office full time. Ugh. Also, my girls have 5 1/2 weeks left of Kindergarten. Where did the time go?

WHAT I'M LOVING... I went to Vacaville last week with my MIL and got some great items. We went to Home Goods (we only have TJ Maxx here and I know they are sister companies but TJ Maxx has clothes) and I picked up three of these pillows. They are so soft, large, comfy and don't have feathers coming out of them all the time (my previous ones from TJ Maxx did).

Another item I picked up at TJ Maxx (they were next door to each other) was this Stila Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow. I got it in Kitten. I use the regular Stila Kitten Eyeshadow, but it is so hard to find. I did find a pack that had the eyeshadow, liquid eyeshadow and a lip color. All in the Kitten color. I almost bought it, but decided against it and went with the liquid eyeshadow. This stuff gets good reviews and I can see why. I was worried the liquid eyeshadow would crease or feel sticky and it does not. I barely let it dry and it never deviates from where I put it on. So worth it.
Stila Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow

Another item that I purchased and have used a few times already is a new tea kettle. The one we had at home was awful. It was old and had seen better days. I found the one below and it is pretty, holds a lot of water and works very well. Though I can see lots of fingerprints on it in my future. Ha. But for $25, it was worth it.
Brandani Tea Kettle

WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO... Well we have been doing things around the house, hosting a small dinner party with friends, seeing my nephew at least weekly if not more, we celebrated Easter and my mom's birthday with family and we have been prepping for Summer.  
Last Wednesday



WHAT I'M DREADING... Going back to work full time in the office. Fingers crossed it doesn't happen.

WHAT I'M WORKING ON... Trying to get ahead on my blogging and IG post. 

WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT... My best friend coming into town, warmer weather and hopefully beach days soon.

WHAT I'M WATCHING/READING... I am currently reading the third installment of the You series. So far I love it and got right back into series. And now I read it while picturing Penn Badgley from the TV series. I can't wait for season 3 to come out. Though I know it will be quite different from the book.

As for watching...I am watching Grey's Anatomy, Top Chef, Younger, Good Girls, Life in Pieces (sooo good and quick episodes) and Million Little Things. I needed a new show to watch and started Million Little Things by chance and I am really liking it. I am still early on in season 1, but so far so good. What are you watching?

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO... XM/Sirius radio.

WHAT I'M WEARING... Well on Mondays and Tuesdays I am wearing jeans, nicer shirts/sweaters and flats. Then the rest of the week I wear either leggings and a t-shirt/sweatshirt or shorts/dresses. It just depends on how warm it is. Tomorrow it is supposed to be in the 80s and I am here for it!!!

I have been wearing this dress on repeat. It is so comfy and cute. Yes, Target has a few cute dresses this season and this is one of them. I have it in this orange color and blue.

WHAT I'M DOING THIS WEEKEND... My best friend Nathalie is coming into town and I couldn't be more excited. I haven't seen her in over a year because of Covid, but she is coming for a girls weekend. Friday night we are going to dinner, Saturday she is coming over to hang out with Rory, the girls and I and then we are going out that night with some other friends in town. I can't wait. Sunday brings two kids birthday parties and a groomers appointment for Walter. Lots going on.

WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH... May brings warmth. I am looking forward to spending more evenings outside, going on more walks during the day and just getting ready to usher in Summer. We don't have any big plans, but I am ok with that.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW... Remember how I have two Artis brushes? I have the oval 3 and 6. I have had the 6 for well over a year now, but I have only had the 3 for about 6 months. Well, last week I was using the 3 which I use for concealer and it broke. The brush part just came unglued. I looked up the return/warranty/exchange policy on it and I was able to contact Artis and get another one. Well the oval 3 is sold out so they picked a comparable one for concealer which might make it even easier to put on. That is great customer service.
Artis Oval 3 Brush

Monday, April 26, 2021

Mother's Day Gift Guide

*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.

Mother's Day is coming up and I have put together a guide of gifts that I would love to receive. What are you wanting? I definitely would love a long massage, to sleep in and not cook all day. But I really LOVE getting homemade cards from my girls. They already told me they are making me something. Just so sweet. I have all Mother's Day items up at work. 

Mother's Day Gift Guide

PonyFlo Hat  This hat is perfect for working out, golfing or wearing daily. You can adjust the ponytail height in the hat which is amazing. I have seen many different hats like this, but this is just one option that isn't as pricey as some that I have seen (Lululemon).

Lululemon Energy Longline Sports Bra  It is no secret that I love Lululemon. I have some really old Victoria Secret sports bras that I work out in that don't fit me. It is time for a change and to something durable, soft and holds the ladies in. Enter this sports bra.

Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee Bundle  I already have this and I LOVE it. I use it pretty much every single day. And once I am back in the office full time, it will be coming with me. The frother is amazing and I also use it daily.

Kendra Scott Heart Earrings  I love how simple and dainty these earrings are. And they are the perfect gift from your little ones.

Dyson Airwrap Styler  I still really want this styler. I did not get it during the Sephora sale since it was sold out and the price tag is really high. But it can still be on my wishlist.

Lululemon Align Tank  This tank is amazing. It is made from the same material as my Align leggings that I love and now comes in a tank. This tank is a bit cropped but perfect for all of the high waisted shirts and shorts that I have accumulated over the last year.

Tieks  I have these Tieks in blush and now I want them in nude/taupe. I got mine as a Mother's Day or birthday gift years ago and I still wear them all the time. They are so comfy, cute and pack up easily for when I get to travel again.

Sorella Lip Oil  This lip oil saves your lips during the winter. It is made locally but sold online at many places. It goes on smooth, isn't sticky, hydrates your lips and is perfect to wear to bed or during the day.

Tory Burch Miller Sandals  Yes I am still wanting these sandals all these years later. The price tag usually stops me, but they are so dang cute. And I always miss out on my size when sales happen. But I really want these sandals.

What is on your Mother's Day list?

Friday, April 23, 2021

Friday Favorites and Happenings

*This post contains affiliate links. When you click a link, it is no cost to you and I make a small commission (pennies) from it. Thank you for supporting Sparkles and Lattes.

Happy Friday all! I survived my first week back in the office. It was tough. I woke up at 5:30 am Monday and Tuesday and then was back to my usual wake up 5 minutes before I start working. I need to work on going to bed early on Sundays and Mondays because there was not enough coffee to help with that. Ha. But it was good to see some people and interact with others. So crazy. 

Anyways, onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. So I have had a chance to use some of my Sephora haul. Some of it still hasn't shown up, and some of the items are my tried and true. First, I wanted to talk about the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter. This was one item that I have had my eye on for months. A local blogger that I follow on IG, recommended it to me. It can be worn by itself or with your favorite foundation/cc cream. I chose to use it with my Tarte Foundcealer. I got this Tarte product in one of the buy 6 items for $60ish, and it is perfect for lighter makeup days. It gives me a great glow and lasts all day. I also tried it once with my Dior Forever Matte Foundation

The first time I used it, I loved it. I used it on the weekend and it gave me a pretty glow to my face. I wore it all day and didn't do too much active things or go sit out in the sun. I kept wearing it for almost a week and then I threw in the towel. I tend to have oily skin and the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter just made my skin look more oily after a day in the office, taking walks and going about my day. My day started at 5:30 am and I took the makeup off at 7:30 pm. It just didn't wear well for me. BUT the overall look of it at the start of the day is beautiful. So if you have dryer skin or normal skin, this product is for you.

Luckily, Sephora has a great policy where you can return a product within 60 days if you are unhappy with it. Even if some is used. Sure they will not be happy if you use half the product, but a weeks worth isn't even a dent in this.

By the way, that dry shampoo is so large and amazing. I usually get the 4 oz one, but with the Sephora discount, I got the 7.3 oz which should last me so much longer.

TWO. Another item that I received a few days later that I didn't include on my Sephora post was the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Cream in Fenty Glow. I have been wanting this for a long time, but it was always out at my local Sephora. It is the prettiest nude color and the photo below doesn't do it justice. I have been wearing it daily. It doesn't feel sticky, goes on smoothly, and makes my lips feel great. This one is a total win. 

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Cream
Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Cream (Please look away from my awful nails. They will be fixed today.)

THREE. I am happy to report that I love the Nars Creamy Concealer that I purchased. It was recommended to me by a fellow blogger/IGer. I was having problems with my Tarte Shape Tape creasing under my eyes. She recommended the Nars concealer and I have been using it for a week and little to no creases. I got it in the color Creme Brulee which the sales rep said it hides imperfections, but also brightens your under eye area.

Yes I had to go into Sephora. I had to exchange an item and wanted to get someone to color match me for the concealer since they have so many colors. This one is perfect and I definitely recommend it. They have a mini option so you can try it and see if you like it.

Nars Creamy Concealer

FOUR. Weekly funnies.

This is how I felt early on in quarantine.

So true.

I need another vacation after surviving my first week back in the office. And yes it was only 2 days.

This would happen to me when I traveled. Ugh.

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