SOCIAL MEDIA

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Free Country's Build for Cozy

*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.

If you go to my Instagram account (later today) you will see my Instagram post for this collaboration. This collaboration wasn't even supposed to be a blog post, but I received two jackets and two joggers. So that means one of you will get the second set. It is size medium which basically fits anyone from a size 4 to 10.

The joggers are breathable and made from a French terry fabric. The ones up for grabs are in the Khaki version below.

Free Country Free2B Joggers

The jacket is made from the same ribbed micro puff fabric as the siding on the joggers. They have a thumb hole and are stretchy. The one up for grabs is in the Hibiscus color below.
Free Country Free2B Jacket

And if you don't win and you want one of these or anything else from Free Country, you can use my code: INF20 for an extra 20% off your purchase excluding clearance.

Good luck!





a Rafflecopter giveaway
Monday, July 26, 2021

Summer Sandals

*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 always look for sandals and this year I found a few that I wear every evening and all weekend. I go between my Steve Madden's, Birkenstocks and Tory Burch's. I thought I would share some of my favorites and some of my wish list items.

If I want comfort, I reach for my Birkenstock's. If I want fun and cute, I reach for either my TB's or Steve Madden's. I have two pairs of the Steve Madden's and I want another TB in the Miller Clouds. 

Enjoy!

Summer Sandals

I don't have the TB Mini Miller Jelly, but I do have the non-jelly version which I love. I really want the Cloud version as well. 

I don't have the Madewell sandal, but I have another version of it with one strap across. These ones are just fun! 

I like the idea of the SM Beliza sandal to wear to work and out with girlfriends. The heel is only 2 inches, so it is doable and still cute. 

The SM Selina sandal is a lot like the travel sandal which I have, but it is a slide version. My friend has these and loves them!!! 

I almost bought the SE Gala sandal last year, but they were out of my size. I still think they are cute.

Friday, July 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! We have another busy weekend ahead. And can you believe that August is just around the corner? This Summer is flying by. My girls start 1st grade in a few weeks! Crazy, I know.

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. When the girls were in Graeagle, they got a lot of use out of their googles. So much that they started to hurt their ears and wouldn't stay suctioned to their face enough. So when they got home, they asked if they could get new ones. I searched around on Amazon and got them these. They are big time winners and are so much easier to adjust on their heads than the old ones that they had (from their swim lessons).

Speedo Swim Googles

They come in so many colors too and are only $15 ish each.

TWO. Another item that I will share via my Amazon Prime post in two-ish weeks is these silicone body scrubbers. I bought these about a year or two back and then the girls took theirs to Graeagle and it never came back with them.

This time I bought a three pack, so Rory could have one and the girls could each have one.

These things are amazing and so much better than the traditional loofas that hold and house bacteria. You can wash these in your dish washer and they are back to being new.

Silicone Loofa Body Scrubber

THREE. I usually don't share my Influenster stuff on my blog, but every so often I find something that I really like. And this happens to be one of those times. I received the Dior Forever Liquid Lipstick in Forever Nude and I love it!

It is the perfect nude color and goes on so smoothly. It isn't cheap ($38), but it is so worth it. I will definitely be re-purchasing this when mine runs out which take sometime. I wear it almost everyday at work and I still have most of it left.

Dior Forever Liquid Lipstick

FOUR. Some of my Nordstrom items have arrived and so far I have kept them all. I have one dress coming that was bought on a whim and that still hasn't arrived. But I wanted to share my Laura Mercier Setting Powder set that I got. I love this setting powder. I have tried ones from Tarte, Bare Minerals and Benefit, and this one is the best. 

I ran out of my LM one awhile ago and started using the Tarte one that came in a buy 6 or 7 items for $60ish. It is fine and does the job, but not as well as the Laura Mercier. 

The set is $49 and it comes with a full size, a travel size and the puff.  The normal full size is $39 at Sephora and Ulta. The travel size is $23 and the puff is $16. So you are getting all three for $10 more than the normal size. So you save $29. Such a steal!

If you get anything from the sale, get this set.

Laura Mercier Setting Powder

FIVE. Weekly funnies.




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

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Dupes

*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.

Nadine recently did a post on some dupes for the infamous Nordstrom sale. Since I started looking around for some dupes myself, I thought I would share some of the items I went searching around for and what I found. Some of these are dupes or finds at different retailers.

As I have mentioned before, this sale pisses me off. All of the influencers buy up every size and color of the items you want and then they end up returning most of it only to screw others from getting the discount. I managed to get a few items, but most of what I really wanted was gone. So here are some dupes and other retailers that I found.

I tried my best to find items that are the same price or below, but a few of them are more (and better quality in some cases).

Left: Nordstrom  Right: Etsy

I wanted the Nordstrom necklace, but the letters I wanted were sold out. But Etsy has very similar ones.


I wanted the shirt jacket in the middle, but it sold out in the first day and has never been restocked. So I tried to get the Thread & Supply one, but that one sold out too. I did find another one by BB Dakota, but it is $96, so I am not sure if I want to get that one. Are shirt jackets even worth it?


I love Honeydew pjs. I have a nightgown from them and I wear it all the time. I wanted the above version, but it sold out before it became available to just the cardholders (like me). But Nordstrom Rack has the almost exact version for cheaper. Order up from your normal size.


I wanted the BB Dakota cardigan coat so bad. I wanted it in the brown (latte) color, but it sold out quickly. It came back and I ordered it only to get an email saying it was no longer available. I have also been eyeing this sweater coat at J Crew and it is on sale as well.


I really love this dress. I always want to invest in pieces that are higher quality, like Vince Camuto products, and I wanted this dress for work and going out. But it sold out, came back, but not in my size. I did find a similar dress at Nordstrom Rack by Madewell, but it is shorter.


I wanted the Nordstrom Vince Camuto woven sandals, but they kept selling out in my color. But now that the reviews are rolling in, I am glad I didn't get them. The Vince Camuto's on the right get amazing reviews. And if you are like me and need a wider heel, then the Steve Madden's are right up your alley.

Are there any items that you really wanted and didn't get? Have you searched for dupes or the same product just at a different place?


Monday, July 19, 2021

Wedding Guest Dresses

*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.

Do you have an upcoming wedding that you are attending? We do. My cousin, through marriage, is getting married Labor Day weekend and I have been shopping around trying to find the perfect dress. Since I have been searching for a great dress, I thought some of you might be as well, and that I would share my favorite finds.

All of these dresses are under $150 except one (the green popover one).

Wedding Guest Dresses

Help me decide. Which is your favorite?

Friday, July 16, 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! We have a busy weekend coming up. Heck, our next two months are busy every single weekend. Which is good, but overwhelming.

Anyways, onto Friday favorites and happenings.

ONE. So today is the day that I can shop the Nordstrom sale. Since last week, I added a few items I am interested in looking at. And if they are available, I MAY purchase them. But I am not holding my breath on them being available tomorrow as everyone who has a card can buy things.

Anyways, here is what I added to my list.

The first two are sold out, but maybe will come back into stock or be re-stocked. The first is sold out in small, but other sizes available.

BlankNYC Shirt Jacket

I wanted this one for work, but it is sold out as well....at least right now it is.

Vince Double V-Neck Dress

I really like the heeled sandals, but I can't decide on a color and if I really want/need them. Then we have another shirt jacket and this one gets good reviews by some bloggers that I follow and trust. The last is just so pretty and would be perfect for work. The price could be better though.

TWO. Remember last week I showed you all some Lululemon board shorts that I suggested to my husband? Well it turns out, he likes the Vuori Peak Boardshorts more, so he ordered two different pairs of these. One Peak and one Bahia. He loves the brand Vuori after I got him a pair of shorts for his birthday. Now he has shirts, shorts, pants and boardshorts from them.

Vuori Bahia Boardshorts

Vuori Peak Boardshorts



THREE. Do you give your dog Heartgard? We do since we live in Nevada and take Walter into California which has a problem with heartworm. I used to buy it from the vet because he has his yearly heartworm test there. I was paying over about $90 for a year supply. But this year, my vet wrote us a prescription and I bought it from Chewy.com. 

That is where I get Walter's food and vitamins from (for his joints), so it was time to get my new set (ready for next month), and I got it for $57.88. Chewy just contacted my vet for the prescription. So easy and way cheaper. 

If you click the link, you will see that it is for $66.49 for auto-ship (which I set to yearly) and I had a 20% coupon off on all Heartgard meds.

Heartgard

FOUR. We have a housewarming party next weekend and I was seeing some good reviews on the wine glasses below. To be honest, I want them. Ha. But I was thinking this would be a good gift. What do you think? Do you have these? Are they worth it?

Wine Glasses

FIVE. Weekly funnies.







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

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Show Me Your Books - June

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

June was a good book month for me. I read four books. But I believe that was because I was in Graeagle for a week and that allowed me to read two of them quickly. I always get a lot of reading done while I am in Graeagle. Once the kids go to the sleep, I read before bed and I often read at the pool. 

So what did I read last month?

Long Bright River - Liz Moore
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Rating: 4 to 4 1/2 stars

Long Bright River - Liz Moore

I added this into my que and when it came up I couldn't remember what it was about. This book was really good. It hit me harder than I thought it would. It is a book about addiction. Two sister grew up together and one gets sucked into the world of drugs (mainly heroin). And when you inject the heroin, it runs up the long bright river. 

The book goes into the lives of both sisters. The first who took care of her sister growing up after their own mother died from an overdose. She is a police officer and hopes to change the town she lives in for the better and save her sister. The second who is carefree, does drugs and just lives her life the way she wants it. 

The sister who is a cop is trying to solve the crime of missing woman who were either druggies and/or selling their bodies for drugs. She is worried that her sister is one of these missing woman who she may find dead at every stop she makes.

There are a lot of twists and turns in this book that leave you wondering what happened, how it happened and who is behind these murders/missing woman.

I have a cousin who lost his battle to addiction and then a childhood best friend whose sister has endured a lifelong battle with addiction. So this book really hit home for me.

Bottom line: Read it.

Here is Amazon's synopsis:

Two sisters travel the same streets, though their lives couldn't be more different. Then one of them goes missing.

In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don't speak anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling.

Then Kacey disappears, suddenly, at the same time that a mysterious string of murders begins in Mickey's district, and Mickey becomes dangerously obsessed with finding the culprit--and her sister--before it's too late.

Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters' childhood and adolescence, Long Bright River is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate.

One to Watch - Kate Stayman-London
Genre: Romance, Chick-lit
Rating: 4 stars

One to Watch - Kate Stayman-London

This was a fun and light read. Bea is a fashion blogger and is pretty successful. Her passion for fashion grew once she went to Paris for a semester during college. But Bea has never been able to find her one true love. Well, she thinks she has in her best friend Ray, but it seems he doesn't feel the same way.

On TV, there is a reality show that is similar to the Bachelor/Bachelorette. It is always the beautiful and thin people who are cast as the main lead. But after a horrible season on Main Squeeze, they want to change things up and add someone who is more real. Enter Bea. Bea is an average to plus size woman who is smart, successful and fun to be around. So the TV execs convince Bea to be their new lead.

It reads like episodes of the Bachelor/Bachelorette. You go on dates, you read twitter accounts, magazine stories, etc. for each week. 

Will Bea find love?

I really enjoyed this book. It was fun to read and a change up from what I have been reading lately. 

Here is Amazon's synopsis:

Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers—and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television?

Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition—under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it.

But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale. In this joyful, wickedly observant debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men—and herself—for a chance to live happily ever after.

One By One - Ruth Ware
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Rating: 3 1/2 to 4 stars

One By One - Ruth Ware

This book started off the same way another book that I read, but never finished. But this one was more gripping and sucked you in. There is a resort in the French Alps that houses guests for a ski weekend, a company retreat or a time to just get away. The company Snoop brings their officers and shareholders to the ski chalet for a week. They need to decide if they should sell the company or go public. The company's heads are divided on this, so they cease this opportunity to ski, have meetings and just get away.

But slowly people start dying. At first it seems like it was an accident, but then more people die. All the while, a huge avalanche happens and they are snowed in.

I kept guessing on who was the killer, what the motive was and what was going to happen. I did enjoy the book and did guess who the killer was, but it was still an enjoyable read.

Here is Amazon's synopsis:

Getting snowed in at a luxurious, rustic ski chalet high in the French Alps doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world. Especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a full-service chef and housekeeper, a cozy fire to keep you warm, and others to keep you company. Unless that company happens to be eight coworkers…each with something to gain, something to lose, and something to hide.

When the cofounder of Snoop, a trendy London-based tech startup, organizes a weeklong trip for the team in the French Alps, it starts out as a corporate retreat like any other: PowerPoint presentations and strategy sessions broken up by mandatory bonding on the slopes. But as soon as one shareholder upends the agenda by pushing a lucrative but contentious buyout offer, tensions simmer and loyalties are tested. The storm brewing inside the chalet is no match for the one outside, however, and a devastating avalanche leaves the group cut off from all access to the outside world. Even worse, one Snooper hadn’t made it back from the slopes when the avalanche hit.

As each hour passes without any sign of rescue, panic mounts, the chalet grows colder, and the group dwindles further…one by one.

Every Last Fear - Alex Finlay
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Rating: 4 to 4 1/2 stars

Every Last Fear - Alex Finlay

This book hooked me right away. It is read from the perspectives of several family members in before and after. Before the accident/murder and after. A family goes to Mexico and a few days later they end up dead. At first it seems like an accident, but as the story unfolds, you find out that it is a murder.

Matt and his brother, Danny are the only two who were not in Mexico. Matt was at NYU and his brother Danny, is in prison. So what happened to their family?

The book takes you through the investigation including perspectives from an FBI agent. So why is a FBI agent investigating this if it was just a murdered family?

I didn't guess who the killer was or why it happened, but I did start to catch onto it a bit as the book went on. I just had a slight detail that wasn't right.

But this was an enjoyable read.

Here is Amazon's synopsis:

“They found the bodies on a Tuesday.” So begins this twisty and breathtaking novel that traces the fate of the Pine family, a thriller that will both leave you on the edge of your seat and move you to tears.

After a late night of partying, NYU student Matt Pine returns to his dorm room to devastating news: nearly his entire family―his mom, his dad, his little brother and sister―have been found dead from an apparent gas leak while vacationing in Mexico. The local police claim it was an accident, but the FBI and State Department seem far less certain―and they won’t tell Matt why.

The tragedy makes headlines everywhere because this isn’t the first time the Pine family has been thrust into the media spotlight. Matt’s older brother, Danny―currently serving a life sentence for the murder of his teenage girlfriend Charlotte―was the subject of a viral true crime documentary suggesting that Danny was wrongfully convicted. Though the country has rallied behind Danny, Matt holds a secret about his brother that he’s never told anyone: the night Charlotte was killed Matt saw something that makes him believe his brother is guilty of the crime.

When Matt returns to his small hometown to bury his parents and siblings, he’s faced with a hostile community that was villainized by the documentary, a frenzied media, and memories he’d hoped to leave behind forever. Now, as the deaths in Mexico appear increasingly suspicious and connected to Danny’s case, Matt must unearth the truth behind the crime that sent his brother to prison―putting his own life in peril―and forcing him to confront his every last fear.

What did you read last month? Any good recommendations?


Monday, July 12, 2021

4th of July Recap

I was going to do a small recap in my Friday Favorites post, but I had too many pictures to share, so I thought I would do a shorter post here (today). 

This year, we headed out to Graeagle, California for the 4th. We went out on Saturday the 3rd, but stayed until Tuesday the 6th. Well I did. Rory and the girls got to stay out there until this last Saturday the 10th. I had two reports due at work and couldn't take time off. I got one extra day out of it, but I am too busy at work to take more time off.

Anyways, on our drive out there, we saw two fires. We had some massive thunder and lightening storms the day before and it set off a bunch of fires in the area. This is the smoke from one of them. We could see the flames from the road.

California Fires

We arrived in Graeagle, unpacked and then headed to pizza. We wanted something easier due to just arriving, the heat and timing. We all went to bed early since we were all exhausted. 

Sunday morning we were pretty lazy. We had a Mexican breakfast casserole, coffee and just hung out all morning. The kids got dressed early and were ready for the day.

We spent the day at the pool, got some ice cream, rode our bikes around and just stayed outside most of the day. Fortunately, it had rained the night before, so we had a bit of reprieve from the heat. But it was still in the high 80s to low 90s. 
Yes that is a double scoop of Espresso Explosion!

And you can see the headband and shirt that I got from Old Navy from my Red, White and Blue post.

Walter was tired and hot. This dog bed is a game changer for him! He loves it.

That evening we bbq'd hot and mild sausages, had a big salad and chips. Perfect cookout for the 4th. Then we topped everything off with dessert that I picked up before we headed out.
Fruit Tart


And I made the girls do a little photoshoot with us.



Fun little fact. Rory purchased those pants for his 40th birthday party that I threw him. It was a 90s themed and he thought the cut and style were very 90s. And now we can wear them on Flag Day and the 4th of July.

We didn't get to see any fireworks or participate in the Graeagle parade this year as they were still cancelled due to Covid. California has different restrictions than Nevada and they just recently opened more in their state.

How was your 4th of July? Did you travel anywhere?
Friday, July 9, 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! Can I just say how happy I am that it is the weekend? Even though this was a short week for me (I only worked Wednesday through today), it feels like this week dragged on. But I must say that the evenings were pretty amazing. Rory and the girls stayed in Graeagle and I came home to go to work. I had reports due, so I only got Tuesday off. But the evenings I was able to get takeout and watch what I wanted. BUT I did miss the girls a bunch. They come home tomorrow.

What are you doing this weekend?

ONE. So Rory has been looking around for a new swim short. He wears his older Patagonia ones all the time and has thrown some out more recently that just don't fit well anymore. And not to mention, he is super picky with the fit. 

Well, I think I found a winner for him. Yes, they are expensive, but they should last forever. Enter the Lululemon Channel Cross Swim Short.

Lululemon Channel Cross Swim Short

And if you like the board short style, these are for you (well, the guy in your life.)

Lululemon Mark Healey Beach Short

TWO. Are you shopping the Nordstrom sale? I USUALLY get excited for it, but last year sucked. Everything that I wanted was sold out before it even got to card holders who spend a decent amount. And by the time, it opened up to the public, everything was gone. Such a disappointment. 

And this year, I looked at the preview and it sucks. Many of the items are frumpy, repeats from last year that you can find at Nordstrom Rack for cheaper or just not great. I did a few beauty items that are good deals, plus some undies for the girls and the pjs that I love, but that is it. This is what is on my list this year. 

I love the Laura Mercier setting powder. For the two plus a poof (which I need a new one since the girls used it to put on permanent lipstick), it is $49. But it normally costs $78. I also used to use Oribe's product line when it was carried at my salon that I go to. I love the texturizing spray and this one comes with a dry shampoo as well. Normally $96, but you get it for $64.

Honeydew PJs
I love Honeydew PJs. I have their nightgown in this same material and I love it, so I hope I can grab these for $25.

These get great ratings online and the girls always need new undies.

Are you shopping the sale? Do you feel the same way about the sale as I do this year? And even in years past?

THREE. Do you have the Amazon Kindle Fire Kids? We have two different ones. I got one each for the girls when they were 2 and then my in-laws got them one 2 years ago. I swear they only work for a few years, but they are a great option for kids who are not old enough for an iPad. BUT the memory storage is crap. One of the ones that we got the girls doesn't work anymore. But the ones that my in-laws got them do work, but the storage sucks. So I ordered these to put into their newer ones so we can add on all of their movies and they can play all the games that they want.

They have these Fire Kids.

Fire Kids Tablet

And this is the memory card that we got.
SanDisk Memory Card

FOUR. Weekly funnies.

It has been too hot here and I used to attend Warped Tour back in the day. My co-worker sent me this and it rings sooo true.



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