Friday, February 26, 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 you believe we start a new month on Monday? I can't. And March is going to be a good month. We have a lot planned and hopefully we get to do all of it! We don't have much planned this weekend and that is ok. I am all for a relaxing weekend. And fingers crossed we have some good weather so we can get outside.

Onto Friday favorites and happenings.

ONE. I wanted to start off Friday favorites with my favorite mom and dad. Today is my parents 38th wedding anniversary. So happy anniversary mom and dad!!!

TWO. So I am sure you have heard by now if you are a Becca Cosmetics fan, but they are shutting things down come September. I saw this yesterday and mildly panicked. I LOVE the anti-fatigue primer and the under eye brightener. I use the anti-fatigue primer daily. Even when I am not wearing makeup. It just takes away the dark circles and gives my eyes some life again. So I went on Sephora yesterday and bought 2 of each as an investment. BUT after September, and once these have been used, I will need other suggestions.

Are you a Becca Cosmetics fan?

Becca Anti-Fatigue Under Eye Primer

Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector

THREE. A couple weeks back when I bought the girls their bathing suits for part of their Valentine's Day gift, I bought myself a bikini from there. It is juniors, so I was worried about sizing, but I ordered off of the sizing chart to change juniors to women's and it fit. Even post surgery swelling. And I plan to go back to Target in person and pick up a few others. Since our Target doesn't allow dressing room changes, I will have to buy them and try on at home and return anything that doesn't fit or I don't like.

Target Square Neck Bikini
Top  |  Bottom

And the bottoms are not cheeky like they say. I read the reviews and tried it on myself and Victoria Secret bathing suits were cheeky. This isn't as cheeky.

FOUR. Weekly funnies.

Hahaha. This is funny since I had to buy my husband deodorant at the store this week and the scent names are weird.

I am totally going to start doing this.

I have been guilty of this.

But yet I still watch them.

This is pretty funny because this is what you could wear for vaccinations.

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

Wednesday, February 24, 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 October. I have been behind or had other posts that I wanted to post. But I decided to participate this month since I haven't done many life updates.

Anyways, onto this month's What's Up Wednesday...What's Up Wednesday
Sunday: Grilled Cheese and salad.
Monday: Take-out.
Tuesday: Take Out Fake Out Szechuan Noodles
Wednesday: Tri tip with steamed artichokes
Thursday: Steak Sandwiches with fries or a salad (using our leftover tri tip)
Friday: Unsure
Saturday: Unsure

WHAT I'M REMINISCING ABOUT... The last year. Can you believe we are about two weeks away from the pandemic one year anniversary? That means I have been working from home for almost a year now. We thought this would last two maybe four weeks and here we are. So many things have changed. 

WHAT I'M LOVING... I know I have only been using this neck serum for a week and a half, but I am already seeing results. I can't wait to show you the month update. I know it is pricey, but my esthetician (who Rory bought it through) says it lasts forever. His wife has been using it for 4 months and she has a ton left.
I am also loving my gallon water bottle. Yes it is ridiculous, but it is the only way I get enough water during the day. I get a ton of compliments on it at the gym and everyone always asks about it. Even my doctor (yes I brought it into the doctors office) asked me where I got mine so she could get one.

WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO.. We haven't done that much this month. I have been recovering from surgery which has taken longer than we expected.

Rory did take the girls and Walter on a long walk.

We made waffles using our new Dash Mini Waffle Maker.
Dash Mini Waffle Maker

I got my hair colored and my extensions moved up.

Fresh Hair Extensions

The girls and I made them shirts to celebrate 100 days of school and Valentine's Day.
100 days of school shirt ideas

We went out for date night and an early Valentine's Day.

WHAT I'M DREADING... I am not really dreading anything. Maybe taking a covid test to get back into the US.

WHAT I'M WORKING ON... Just work, blogging and planning for Mexico.

WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT... Going to Mexico. Fingers crossed this happens. I have been researching about getting back into the US, about what it is like in Mexico, any restrictions there, extra precautions we need to take, etc. I have been on Tripadvisor daily.

WHAT I'M WATCHING/READING... I am currently reading One Little Secret.

As for tv shows, I have been watching This is Us and Riverdale. And then we have been binging Animal Kingdom on Prime. This show is sooo good. It is crazy with some sex, violence and drug usage, but so dang good. We can't stop watching it. So far there is 4 seasons out and another coming out soon. We are on season 4 and my good friend, Grant Harvey is in it. So cool to see a friend making it big in Hollywood.

I am also loving Firefly and Behind Her Eyes on Netflix.


WHAT I'M WEARING... I mentioned that I bought a pair of American Eagle Jegging Joggers a few weeks back. When I got them in, I was early into my post surgery. The first time I wore them, it was a bit painful since they are high waisted, but I have worn them since and they are amazing. I didn't think they would fit me post surgery until the swelling went down, but they are stretchy and fit amazingly.

They are soft, hold up after every wash, are comfy, and fit your body even when you are bloated/swollen. I love the zip up ankle and the tie waist, but they still have a zipper and button up at the top. Overall, these will be worn a lot. I am already on the waitlist for a pair in black. Go with your true American Eagle size. When you pull them out of the package, they look small, but they will fit. Trust me.
AE High-Waisted Jegging Jogger

Other than that, I am just wearing leggings, sweatshirts and the occasional jeans. Yes, jeans are more comfy right now than leggings. My leggings are all high waisted, so my joggers (Zella) and my American Eagle jeans are what I have been tending to wear more of.

WHAT I'M DOING THIS WEEKEND... Well we have our couch being looked at. When they delivered our sofa bed, we noticed and they did too, that there is a stain behind one of the cushions at the top. It looks to be 3 pen marks, but they are having someone come over to clean it.

Other than that, we are relaxing, getting outside and maybe seeing family.

WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH... March brings Mexico, Rory's birthday, my sister's baby shower and lots of fun stuff. Plus we are hoping for some better weather and more outdoor time.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW... Nothing much.
Monday, February 22, 2021

Hair Extensions Update

*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 has been about 5 months since I first got my hair extensions in and I thought I would update you all. Especially because I got them moved up two weeks ago. I feel like I have mastered the care for them and don't really notice them anymore. Yes, I notice how my hair is longer, but I don't really feel them day to day like I used to.

Here is my original post on when I first got them. And this is what my hair looked liked before and after.

So in the last 5 months I have learned how to wash my hair quickly and efficiently. First tip, make sure you are using good quality shampoo and conditioner. Salon quality, but you can get that at Sephora or Ulta. Just something up from your basic Pantene Pro V. You will use more shampoo and conditioner each time you wash your hair, but you don't have to wash it daily like I used to. 

I find that the best way is to put some shampoo or conditioner in my hand, and using my fingers, rub it on the crown of my head, then around my ears, then the bottom of my scalp where my hair ends. Then I grab some more product and put it in between my rows using my fingers gently, but getting the old dry shampoo out. Then I use a bit more for the length of my hair and use the same method of washing it out. Use your fingers to make sure you get all of the shampoo/conditioner out of your hair. If you don't, you can have an itchy scalp.

As for blow drying my hair, I let it towel or air dry for at least 15 minutes to an hour. Then I brush it starting at the ends and working my way up. Then I use Kerastase Heat Protecting Serum on the length of my hair and Kerastase Volumizing Mousse in my roots. Since I have two rows of extensions, I dry my hair in three sections, starting from the bottom. It takes me about 10 minutes to blow dry my hair. Then you can curl it, straighten it or leave it as is.

As for the evening, I use Kerastase Elixir Ultime Oil Serum to keep my hair and hair extensions moisturized. Since the extensions do not grow from your head, they need help to keep them healthy and moisturized. I use one pump every night.

And that is it. 

My hair stylist is very happy with how I am taking care of my hair. She said it is super healthy (both my real hair and my extensions) and has tons of new growth. And I haven't had a cut in 5 months on it. 

We took photos of my hair to show the growth and how the extensions look after 8 weeks of growth. Then we took more photos after my extensions were taken out to see how much it has grown. Then we took more photos to show the new color and extensions in place. Finally we took a photo of it after I was done.
Hair Extensions Grown Out
This is eight weeks of growth and they are still sewn in nicely and lay flat. Plus it was my full highlights appointment as you can see I have a lot of growth (my natural roots) in the back of my hair. I get full highlights every other appointment and I get partial highlights in between those appointments.

Check out how long my real hair is. Big change from the first photo.

Fresh Hair Extensions
Fresh color and extension "sewn" back in.

And done with details on my hair.

Is there anymore you want to know about my extensions?
Friday, February 19, 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! This week flew by for us. We had Monday off from work and then I have a half day today at work. We don't have much planned for this weekend other than using our mini waffle maker again and doing some stuff around the house.

Onto Friday favorites and happenings.

ONE. Last Saturday, Rory and I had a date night out. We celebrated an early Valentine's day and that I am well on my way to being fully recovered. I had another post-op with my doctor yesterday, but I will talk about that later.

Anyways, I thought I would share our date night. Sadly, we didn't get a photo together. Super lame. But Rory did capture a picture of me and I captured one of him, but he didn't share it.

Hamachi Crudo

Avocado salad

Filet Oscar (Rory had a rib eye that I didn't photograph as well as French onion soup)

Roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and macadamia nuts

Key lime tart

TWO. So I have had my eye on two things at Sephora recently and I purchased them and thought I would try them out and report back. First is the Iconic London Illuminator Liquid Highlight in Original. These are drops that you can add to your cheekbones, eyes around the eyebrow area, on your nose, etc. It gives your face a slight shimmer and brightens you up. I know with my skin, I feel like winter sucks the life out of it. And since I wear makeup daily (even just a little bit which you can use this with or without makeup), I thought I would give my face some life. I will let you know what I think. Have you tried it?

Iconic London Illuminator Liquid Highlight

THREE. The other item that I purchased is the Fenty Gloss Bomb Lip Luminizer. I have heard nothing but amazing things about Fenty products, but yet I haven't tried them. On Sephora, this gloss gets 4 1/2 stars with over 11,000 reviews. I bought it in the color Fu$$y. Yes I know that wearing it while you wear a mask is mute, but I can put it on after I arrive at a place.

Fenty Gloss Bomb Lip Luminizer

FOUR. As part of my Valentine's Day gift from Rory, he got me Dermalogica Neck Fit Contour Serum. Wow that is a mouth full. My esthetician uses Dermalogica products on me and therefore, I use them to wash my face, mask and treat my dark spots. So when Rory got me this new product, I couldn't wait to try it. I saw a blogger use it on Try it Tuesday and she said it was doing good things. So I have been using it for close to a week now and I love it. I feel like it is working. Slowly, but it is firming up my neck. I will report back after a month of use.

Dermalogica Neck Fit Contour Serum

FIVE. Weekly funnies.

This couldn't be more true. And I went just this week. Reminder to set your appt and get yourself checked out.

This. I definitely feel this way.

The irony.

One of the worst parts about being an adult.

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

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Trader Joes Favorites and Finds

I always love seeing people's grocery hauls from Trader Joes and Costco. I always want to know the favorites, so I can try them myself when I finally make to TJs. Our TJs isn't far, but the lines to get in are insane (ever since Covid started). So I don't go as often as I would like.

But I recently went and grabbed some of our favorites and I thought I would share them with you.

Did you know that Trader Joes has amazing treats? I am talking ice cream, cookies and candy. Those always end up in my cart.

Mandarin Orange Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice

Mandarin Orange Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice - I hate preparing chicken, but I can prepare this one without gagging. And it is sooo good. I pair it with the vegetable fried rice for a quick and easy dinner. This isn't my picture since my Trader Joes was out of both and I have to go back next week for it.

Trader Joes Almond Kringle

Trader Joes Almond Kringle - Now this one I haven't tried, but I have heard so many good things about Kringles. We had pecan in our Trader Joes, but Rory asked if we could limit our sweets until after Mexico because someone hasn't been going to the gym as much (him...also me, but I am eating so much less since surgery).

Trader Joes Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Trader Joes Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies - This is another item that I didn't grab this time, but they did have it in stock. We LOVE these cookies. They have flakes of coconut in them and you can eat almost the whole bin in one sitting. And the only reason I didn't grab it is because Rory will eat it in one sitting. And we ordered four boxes of Girl Scout cookies (3 mint and 1 PB patties).

Reine des Fleurs Rose Wine

Reine des Fleurs Rose Wine - This is the third time that I have purchased this rose and I really like it. It isn't expensive, tastes slightly sweet and doesn't give you a headache.

Trader Joes Pork Potstickers

Trader Joes Pork Potstickers - I love the vegetable potstickers and the pork potstickers from Trader Joes. I make them as an appetizer or add into soups (this one from Broccyourbody). 

Gone Berry Crazy

Gone Berry Crazy - Who doesn't love dark chocolate covered strawberries? I know I do and saw these at Trader Joes. They are really good. They are cut into smaller pieces or strawberry halves and then covered in chocolate.

Gone Bananas

Gone Bananas - This is like the strawberries, but with banana slices. I have tried many different chocolate covered bananas and these are really good. I will definitely be purchasing these whenever I am at Trader Joes.

Mini Hold the Cone Ice Cream Cones

Mini Hold the Cone Ice Cream Cones - These are heaven. I currently have four boxes in my house right now. We all love them and eating one or two each even though the serving size is 3. They come in vanilla, mint chocolate chip, chocolate and usually a seasonal flavor. The pumpkin ones were really good too!

Scandinavian Swimmer Gummies

Scandinavian Swimmers Gummies - This is my second bag of these and we all really enjoy them. The red lobsters are my favorite.

Go Macro Everlasting Joy Protein Bars and Power Crunch Bars

Go Macro Everlasting Joy Protein Bars and Power Crunch Bars - These are not Trader Joes brands, but I find that both of these protein bars are the cheapest at Trader Joes. I usually eat the Go Macro bars and Rory eats the Power Crunch bars.

Trader Joes Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

Trader Joes Everything But the Bagel Seasoning - This stuff is amazing. We add it on our blta's, avocado toast, eggs, sweet peppers with cream cheese and many other snacks. 

What are your Trader Joes favorites?

Monday, February 15, 2021

Happy President's Day!

Happy President's Day all! 

I have today off, so we are utilizing the girls new Dash mini waffle maker and doing things around the house. I am still taking it easy, so we don't have much planned today.

But I wanted to pop in and say hi. I have a fun post coming on Wednesday. I was going to post it today, but I wasn't sure how many people were going to be around. So Wednesday it is!

See you Wednesday!

I thought I would share a photo from Friday of the girls. We made these shirts. It has a 1 and then two hearts to represent 100 days of school. Then we put 100 dots on the shirts. And of course they had to be pink as that is their favorite color and they were celebrating Valentine's Day at school. Pink on pink on pink and the cutest little ladies I ever did see.

Friday, February 12, 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! And happy Valentine's Day weekend! This weekend it is my sister's birthday! She will be 32 and in about 8 weeks, she will be having a baby boy! I can't wait! Anyways, we are having a little date night on Saturday and I am sooo ready for steak. I just hope I can eat more. Since surgery, I get full faster and my appetite is smaller. But fingers crossed I can enjoy all the yummies.

Anyways, onto Friday Favorites and Happenings.

ONE. So I made a Valentine's gift guide for kids and then I didn't even purchase anything off of it. And that is mostly because I started thinking about it and realized that the girls needed a new swimsuit for Mexico (fingers crossed we can go). So I went searching around and saw some cute ones at Target. I even found a few for me, but I need to head into the store to buy a few to try on at home. 

This is the one I got for them. And I am contemplating on buying the second suit as part of their Easter baskets. Tell me that the retro look isn't the cutest?

Girls Shiny Tankini

Girls Magical Water One Piece Swimsuit

TWO. I also bought them one of the Dash Mini Waffle Makers. My girls are obsessed with waffles and I only have the old school large square (4 squares) waffle maker. I got them this waffle maker in hopes that I can make a ton of small waffles to heat up and eat throughout the week and I want to try the eggs in the waffle maker.

Have you seen the IG stories where someone puts an egg, cheese, salt and pepper in the waffle maker and let's it cook up? Then you can eat that egg waffle alone, put it in between an English muffin or make another kind of sandwich with it. I have plans for this mini waffle maker.

Dash Mini Waffle Maker

THREE. We have a Dash popcorn maker that we absolutely love. My girls also love fresh homemade popcorn, so my in-laws purchased one for them and one for us about a year ago. We buy popcorn kernels (so much cheaper) and then add butter. This maker comes with a cup to put on top to heat your butter while the popcorn pops. 

We make this at least once a week as a little snack.

Dash Popcorn Maker

FOUR. And now that we are closer to Valentine's Day, I will share what I got Rory. We usually don't do gifts, but this year, I decided that we should. We have had a crazy last year and celebrating the ones that we love everyday is a great idea. And showering them with a gift here and there, makes us all feel better.

I was trying to think of something unique and fun to get for Rory and I came up with a personalized Whiskey Decanter. I did a google search and found Swanky Badger (how cute is that name) and bought him the one below. I personalized it with our last name and the year he was born.

Personalized Whiskey Decanter

You can get personalized glasses with it, but we have a ton of whiskey, bourbon, scotch, and brandy glasses.

FIVE. Weekly funnies.


I don't think guns should be holstered on leggings.

Haha. She is holding her own feet.

I am sure my Amazon driver thinks this.


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