Monday, August 29, 2022

Garden of the Gods

I wanted to write a small post on my time in Colorado Springs, Colorado two weeks ago. I can't take a lot post many photos from my work trips as some parts have to stay confidential, but I can post a few things that I ate, saw or did. 

Most of my time was spent in my applicant's offices, but we did get to go out to eat and did see one big things during the early evening when we were there. I had high hopes of making it to the Air Force base there and seeing the epic church, but we didn't have enough time. Plus traffic in Colorado can get very bad.

But we did have time on evening to go out to the Garden of the Gods. I was really hoping we would get there and since parts of it stay open til 10 pm, we were able to make it. We had barely enough time to make it to the visitor center as that closes at 6 pm. But you can walk/hike until 10 pm when the gates close. 

Now the Garden of the Gods was a lot like the red rocks area in Las Vegas, but the Garden of the Gods is much more green and lush. 

We opted to park in a visitors area near the visitor center and walk from there. It was about 3/4 of a mile to get to the actual rocks. Then we walked all around and made our way back in about an hour and a half.

Here are some snapshots of the amazing beauty there.

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

There are two does in the background.

Can you spot the guy climbing?

Can you spot the climber again?

Seriously just so beautiful. And the view above looks out over Pikes Peak (the very tall mountains).

The night before we left, I snapped three photos of the food we ate because it was that good. It was just my coworker Missy and I there as everyone had left or stayed closer to the Denver airport. We went to Chiba Bar. It is a sushi/raw bar. The food there was amazing.
Chiba Bar
This is the combo bowl...raw salmon, raw tuna, seaweed salad, tobiko, ginger, avocado, shaved shallot, sesame seeds.

We also go the edamame dip which is similar to a hummus but made with edamame and fresh wonton chips, cucumbers, radishes and jalapenos.

We also shared the pork and chicken gyozas and cucumber salad.

Seriously such a great meal and in Colorado Springs of all places.

And that is about all I can share of the trip, but know it was a lot of fun.

Have you ever been to Colorado Springs?

Friday, August 26, 2022

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! Man has this week gotten away from me. I traveled again this week and I have several more trips coming up. So needless to say, I didn't get a post out on Wednesday and I barely got one out today. Ha. But I am flying home this evening from Las Vegas and I am happy to get home to slightly cooler temperatures. On Wednesday it was 106 in Vegas. Yuck.

Anyways onto Friday favorites and happenings.

ONE. I got my ring in honor of my girls and our journey together. When it was close to my birthday, I had been thinking of things that I wanted. Plus some family had inquired what I had wanted. After thinking about it, I decided that I really wanted a ring with the girls birthstone to commemorate our journey together. I have been through a lot of surgeries since having my girls. Including their delivery and their big NICU stay.

I picked out my ring on Etsy and when it arrived, I LOVED it. 

Now the girls are born in December and the birthstones are all over the place. Some sites say Tanzanite, some say blue Topaz and some say Turquoise. Since the Topaz is more modern and easier to find, I chose that one. 

Here is how it turned out!

Blue Topaz Ring

TWO. Last weekend we went to the beach for the second time this Summer. We are trying to soak in as much beach time as we can since we didn't get much of it earlier this Summer. 

On our way to the beach, we stopped for some coffees and the girls there recommended we try a new to us beach, called Speedboat beach. She said it was a locals beach, the sand was so pretty like Sand Harbor, but way less crowded.

We decided to try it since it was about equal distance as the other beach we usually go to. We got there and while it is harder to get down to (many stairs with a wagon isn't great, but definitely doable), it was so worth it.

Speedboat Beach Lake Tahoe

Speedboat Beach Lake Tahoe

I know I mention this all the time, but Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite places ever!

THREE. After a slow start on our garden, we finally have tomatoes. We have had the cherry tomatoes for awhile now, which I love putting on avocado toast with some balsamic glaze. Anyways, we have heirloom tomatoes and they taste so much better than store bought tomatoes. 

We picked off some yellow/orange ones and some red ones. Then we did a taste test with the tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, balsamic glaze and salt. We ate this as an appetizer to our pasta, so we didn't add any cheese to it. 

The red ones won! I love veggies from the garden.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

FOUR. While in Las Vegas, I had some down time in the evenings and I went to one of the malls here. I shopped around and went into The North Face. I found a gem that was on mega sale and had to grab it. I bought a "parka" jacket. I love my Roots down jacket, but last year I got a tear in the sleeve which I repaired, but knew that I probably needed a new jacket sometime this year. 

With work travel in the winter months, plus Reno winters (sometimes we get a decent amount of snow), it is a good investment. BUT buying it in HOT Las Vegas was even better because they don't need these kind of jackets here. 

This was normally $300 and I got it for $81.

The North Face Women's Metropolis Parka

FIVE. Weekly funnies.

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

Monday, August 22, 2022

The Girls First Day of Second Grade

Last Monday, August 15th, was the girls first day of school. I can't believe how quickly the Summer went. But as always, I love sharing their first and last day of school pictures. So here is their first day of second grade. And can I just say, how are my girls in second grade already? And how do they look so big?

Drop off was a bit rough for the girls. They started getting nervous on our walk up to the second grade doors. Then when I took Avery into her class, she started crying. But she knew her teacher from recess last year, so her teacher reassured her that she was going to have fun this year. I brought her to her desk, gave her hugs and kisses and then a friend from Sutton's class last year came over and told Avery it was ok to be scared and nervous as she was too. But that she will make friends fast and it will be a fun year. That little girl definitely made her day.

Then I took Sutton over to her class and she cried as well because her sister was in another class across the way and they wouldn't see each other until recess. I brought Sutton to her desk and she had some friends in class and immediately perked up. That last picture is of her. I gave her hugs and kisses and went on my way after snapping the photo. Then we peaked in on them through their windows and headed out. 

I walked home, finished packing and getting ready, then did some work and headed off to Colorado. So we had to facetime at the end of the day to hear all about their first day. They had the best time, are super excited for this school year and there were no more tears.

Now to hope for a smooth school year!

Friday, August 19, 2022

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! I have been in Colorado all week and it has been difficult transitioning back into traveling for work and keeping up with my blog. But I promise to read your comments, respond to them and read your blog posts. 

But I also want to say that I am super grateful to be traveling for work again. But can I also say that I am off my game when it comes to packing? I used to be the queen of packing for trips and now I feel like I am overpacking clothes and forgetting toiletries. I guess time will help with this.

Anyways, onto Friday favorites and happenings.

ONE. I have used the same cream blush and bronzer for years. They were my tried and true. Until someone on IG influenced me to try out the Tarte's Cream Blush and Bronzer Duo. I was skeptical as I felt like they would just blend together, but I was wrong. I still have a tiny bit of my Stila Convertible Color - in Peony (you can use it on your eyes, lips or cheeks, so versatile). Then I used Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzer. I loved this combo and will keep it as my back-up or until it is gone. 

But even after using the duo for a couple weeks, I used my other combo of Stila and Too Faced and I felt like it didn't look as blended and beautiful as the duo. 

I use a blush brush that I got off of Amazon. I don't wipe it clean between uses and I get each item without it changing colors or blending. Seriously, my new favorite makeup item. I get mine in Pink Sands.

Tarte Breezy Cream Cheek Duo

TWO. Now that my anniversary is over, I thought I would share one of the gifts that I got Rory. We hit 9 years on Wednesday and upon looking at 9 year anniversary gifts, the internet said that it is pottery and leather (for modern gifts). Since I think leather is a better gift idea for Rory, I got him a leather iwatch band. 

Rory is the one who convinced me to get an Apple watch and I am so happy that I did. But he has a cloth-like band on his blue Apple watch. I figured he could use something for dressy events (like the wedding we went to recently), date nights, family photos, etc.

Here is the one I purchased for Rory.

Leather Apple Watch Band

Leather Apple Watch Band

THREE. Remember how I wanted the Dragon Fruit colored Pointy Rothy's for my birthday. Well my in-laws got them for me and I wore them for the first time last week and again this week on my work trip. These shoes are amazing. They are just as comfortable as my Original Flats by Rothy's.

I sized up to a 9 when I am normally an 8 1/2 due to the pointy toes. I took long walks in them and walked all over Colorado in them and never had a problem. Plus when I get home from my trip, I can pop them in the washing machine and air dry them after and they will be good as new! Seriously the best part of these shoes.

Dragon Fruit colored Pointy Rothy's

If you want $20 off your first pair, you can use this link.

FOUR. Weekly funnies.

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

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Our 9th Wedding Anniersary

I can't believe that Rory and I have been married for 9 years today. And it makes me a bit sad to think that it is my doing that we are not spending the day together. I am in Colorado for work and I couldn't really help it. Funny thing about this? I was telling Rory that I would be gone for our anniversary and the girls first day of school. Well I was there in the morning for the first day of school, but not today for our anniversary. He was disappointed and said, "you know if it was me and I wasn't there for our anniversary, you wouldn't be happy". And he is right. I wouldn't be. I wouldn't be ok with it. BUT this work trip couldn't happen at any other time due to working with 6 others. It is hard to coordinate that many schedules. 

So here I am in Colorado and he is in Nevada. But we did get to celebrate together this last weekend in California for a cousins wedding and we plan to go to dinner this upcoming weekend.

But I thought it would be fun to share some photos of us in our early days of dating. I always love when others show throwback photos from their marriage, so I am doing that today.


2011 (family friends college graduation in Oregon)

2011 Universal Studios

2011 (Niners game)

Thanksgiving 2011 (the theme was TV show and movie characters)

2011 (snowboarding at Mt. Rose)

2012 (Mexico)

2012 (Costa Rica)

2012 (die hard Niners fans)

2013 (our engagement photos)

Happy Anniversary Rory!