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Friday Favorites and Happenings

Friday, December 2, 2016

I am so glad the weekend is here. I have a lot on my plate this weekend (don't I always), but so much of it is fun stuff. So let's get right down to it.

ONE. Today I get my hair done. That is enough to make this day great. I remember telling my girls a couple weeks back when they were getting their first haircut that one day they would love getting their hair done and they should only cry when they get a botched haircut. They didn't listen. 

But I always go back and forth on should I change my hair? Leave it? I still want that long bob or to make my hair more of the same length, but always fear that I would hate it. It has taken me a long time to get my hair the length it is. Choices.

TWO. Tonight is also my work Christmas party. No it is not hosted or anything done by the bosses. Nope. One of our co-workers sets it up each year and we have to pay for it, but we usually have a great time. 

I even bought an "ugly" Christmas sweater for it. It was originally $49 and I got it for $19.
Reindeer Ugly Christmas Sweater

THREE. Tomorrow is my friends 30th birthday party. Two parties in one weekend? Yes. And I am sure I will be exhausted come Sunday. But my friend Jess is turning 30 and I am going to a party animal party. I need to figure out my outfit....I need it to be an animal, but I can't wait. I am sure my liver will hate me after this weekend. #oldmomstatus

FOUR. Sunday morning we are taking the girls to meet Santa. I set up pictures at a local small business and I can't wait to see their set up. You pay $25 for up to a 30 minute session and they send you the best photo of the bunch. You can include as many people you want to and it is done by a local professional photographer. Here is to hoping for the best Santa photo. 

This was last year's photo.
twins with santa
Sorry for the photo of a photo

I would call last year a success, so hopefully this one is just as good or even better.

FIVE. I got this text message on Wednesday and it made my heart happy.
where your donated blood goes

I feel so good knowing my blood went to someone in need. Go donate blood if you can.

I am linking up withApril, A Little Bit of Everything, Karli, Meet @ the Barre and Cup of Tea.

Confessional Thursday

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Happy first day of December. I can't believe December and Thursday are already here. It feels like November went by in a flash. I am very excited for this month. Not only do we have the holidays to celebrate, but we have my girls second birthday to celebrate. It is a big month for us.

I digress, we are here for Confessional Thursday. Last week was Thanksgiving, so I have a lot on my chest this week.

If you want to join along, grab the button, write your confessions or thoughts and come back here to link up.

grab button for Sparkles and Lattes
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/ that my kitchen still isn't done. Seriously. What was supposed to be a 3 week project has taken 7 weeks. We did have a one week break in there, but still. This is ridiculous. I can tell you that I would not want to go through this again. Too much stress and heartache.

/ that my cabinets were refinished, my drawers replaced and my doors, knobs and pulls were also replaced on Monday. That is the good news. The bad news is that the guy who measured it, measured one drawer wrong and two cabinet pull out drawers wrong. So they have to come back next week to finish those plus fix some stuff from the first install. Ugh. Will this ever end?

/ that I am over painting. I have whitewashed the brick wall, painted the pizza oven, painted the new cabinet were my old oven used to be, touched things up three times, painted inside the cabinet under the sink, painted the corbels and painted the mudroom wall. No more painting please.

/ that I had a hard time coming up with any sort of Christmas list to share with family this year. Sure there are things that I want, but I don't really need them.

/ that Sutton gave us a scare Tuesday afternoon. Rory picked up the girls late on Tuesday and about 10 minutes before he got there, Sutton had choked on a toy. I guess she stuck said toy in her mouth and started choking. Her teacher stuck her finger in her mouth to get it out and in the process she threw up. But at least the teacher got it out and didn't have to use the heimlich on her. So scary.

/ that we are 80% done Christmas shopping. We have two people left to buy for and two others need something small to go with their gift. Plus stocking for the girls. Thank you Cyber Monday.

/ that I am praying my kitchen gets done soon, so we can host Christmas dinner. Yes, Christmas is still 24 days away, but with our luck in this renovation, it won't be done.

/ that I am still reeling over Gilmore Girls: Year in the Life Of. The last four words. Wow. Just wow. I won't spoil it for anyone, but please oh please let there be another season. And I hated the Summer episode. Anyone else?

/ that I hate and love my new battery case for my phone. I love that it keeps my phone charged almost all the time, but I hate that I can't put my headphones in it. Small problems, yes I know, but when I workout (run), I watch Netflix and I have to take the case off and risk my phone falling. I don't need my phone breaking.

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What's Hap-Pinning

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

So I usually try not to buy myself anything during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but this year I couldn't help myself. I didn't go overboard (thankfully) and I told Rory there were a few things that I purchased but didn't ask for. Luckily, Rory bought himself some dress shoes on Cyber Monday, so all is even.

Remember how I returned a pair of pants to Loft last week since they didn't fit (the third pair that hasn't fit)? Well I took the money that I got back and bought these two shirts in exchange and I still have leftover money.
Loft Grey Dot shirt
Loft vintage Tee

And then I was browsing IG and I saw the prettiest jacket at J Crew, but they were sold out in the color and size that I wanted. Whomp whomp. But I looked around the site just in case I saw something else and of course I did. I bought myself a new dress jacket since mine is years old and is in desperate need of being replaced. Say hello to this beauty. Originally $228.
J Crew dress jacket

And that is all the shopping I will do for myself unless Pearl and Monroe brings back the reindeer sweater. Then I may have to break my promise. Maybe.

And onto other things....my kitchen will be finished on Friday. That is music to my ears since I haven't had a working kitchen in about 6 to 7 weeks. I lost count.

So now that I will have a brand new kitchen, I want to try some new recipes. I have been saving some the last few weeks, but I want to hear about your favorite recipes as of late. So send them my way. 

So far, I am dying to make a homemade chicken potpie. And one that only has the crust on top. I have had my fair share of potpies and the crust that is on the bottom always is soggy. This one looks perfect except the crust on the bottom.
Chicken pot pie

I love winter squashes and this Creamy Butternut Squash Alfredo came up on my Pinterest feed and I am dying to make it.
Creamy Butternut Squash Alfredo

And one for my cast iron/new oven. I love roasted chicken and my husband has been begging me to make this. It sounds really good. I have never had harissa before, but everyone raves about it.
Roasted Chicken with Harissa and Chickpeas

As I said, if you have any recipes to share, please do. 

I am linking up with Jenn.

Cyber Monday Deals for Toddlers

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I hit up Cyber Monday full force. I sought out every deal and made a huge dent in my Christmas shopping list.

Here is what I scored for my little ladies:
Toddler Christmas Gifts

Art Easel | Crayons | Do-A-Dot Art | Kindle Kids | Schwinn Bikes

Some of these gifts will be for their birthday and some for Christmas. I also hit up the dollar spot at Target this weekend and got them a bunch of stuff.

My girls are into art big time right now, so we decided an art easel would be great for them. It has a chalkboard side and a paper side. And to go with the art easel, we got them the dot markers and crayons.

We went big with the bikes because they came highly recommended. Friends told me of other brands that were harder to put together, so we went with these. Plus I got them for $25 off.

Another big purchase was their kindles. My girls are still young for tv, but they are very interested in my iPad and our phones. Since amazon offers a 2 year warranty on them, we couldn't pass them up.

I have a few other things that are on my list, but haven't pulled the trigger. Mainly these guys:

Toddler Christmas and Birthday Gifts

Home Alone | Step 2 Table | Crayola Stamper | V-tech Pet | Whale SoapSox

Lindsay from Lindsay's Sweet World talked about the Home Alone book and now I really want it for my girls. 

The Step 2 table is perfect for my growing girls. They used one at families house this weekend and they loved it. They can eat there, draw there, play there, etc. 

The V-tech pet carrier and Crayola Stamper were also recommended (by Lizzie from This Happy Life). The girls are obsessed with Walter and I think it would be fun to introduce them to a play pet so they can help take care of Walter when they get older.

The SoapSox I have talked about before, but never bought. I hate using simple wash cloths, so this is a great alternative to them.

Do you have any recommendations on Toddler stocking stuffers? Or other toddler toys?
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Thanksgiving Weekending

Monday, November 28, 2016

Wow what a whirlwind the last few days have been. In both good and bad ways. I am dropping in to recap my weekend, but then I am off to shop Cyber Monday. I have my list ready and I am hoping to find some amazing deals. Stay tuned.

My weekend started on Wednesday since I took the day off to get a bunch of errands done while Rory worked and the girls were at daycare. I returned a pair of pants to Loft, I tried to get my battery replaced at Apple, I hit up Sephora, had lunch, went to Hobby Lobby, then donated blood and ended up at Costco for a few items. I was pretty busy on my day to myself.
donating blood

Wednesday evening, I tried to go back to Apple since the lines were insane, but was told I would be put in a cue for 4 hours. Ugh. So I headed back home to pizza with my family and my in-laws. Then around 7:30, I got the call to head to Apple to get my phone looked at. My phone started to randomly die on Tuesday and would say I had no battery left when I had over 50% battery power. This got way worse on Wednesday and I heard about the iPhone 6S having battery recalls. Turns out my phone is one of the ones that is under recall. And Apple is so far behind on the stock of batteries that I have to wait until December 7th to receive a new one. In the meantime, they put a battery pack on my phone so it will keep a charge. Oh joy. But at least it is fixed temporarily and only after 3 visits to Apple in one day.

Thursday morning we got up and I grabbed us coffee and pastries. We had those and then bundled up for a walk.
Radio Flyer Wagon Thanksgiving walk
Radio Flyer Wagon Thanksgiving walk
Radio Flyer Wagon Thanksgiving walk
Radio Flyer Wagon Thanksgiving walk

After naps and a coffee run, we headed to Rory's cousins house to hang out for a bit. We saw family and the girls played while we had a few snacks and then headed to my aunts house for dinner.

We had all of the fixings and I was stuffed by nights end.
Thanksgiving with the twins

After dinner, we headed home with some sleepy babies who didn't want to sleep much once we got home. 

Friday morning we got up and headed out to meet my family to cut down our Christmas tree. We have the tradition of going out on Black Friday to search for our Christmas tree and cut it down. The trees are pine and smell heavenly and they are never perfect trees, but they are the best. 

We have a great time hunting for trees, having snacks together once everyone has their trees and sometimes we play a little flag football.
Christmas tree cutting
The girls had a blast

After hanging out for a bit, we headed back home (about an hour and a half drive home) to relax for the evening.

After the girls went to bed, I promptly watched an episode and a half of Gilmore Girls. I was soooo excited for the revival, but I am not sure it has lived up to my expectations just yet.

Saturday morning, we went out to breakfast and then Rory headed to an appointment and the girls and I hit up Target. We were there pretty early, so the girls were in a good mood. I bought more Christmas decorations plus some stuff we needed around the house.

Once we got home, we set up the Christmas tree and I got to decorating. The girls were in awe of all the Christmas lights and decor. 

The girls went down for a nap and I finished decorating the inside of the house plus I painted the corbels that go under our counter tops. We also watched the Nevada vs. UNLV game and I am happy to say that Nevada won and we are taking back the cannon and painting it blue again. #tradition
Christmas tree
Our perfectly imperfect tree

The girls didn't nap that long, so we ended up taking another walk and tried to keep them preoccupied. We fed them dinner, gave them baths and off to bed they went. I watched the rest of Spring and a bit of Summer (Gilmore Girls) before heading to bed. But not for long as the girls woke up in a tissy at 11:30 and I had to go sleep aka lay down on their floor with my blanket and pillow until they fell back asleep. Sleep hasn't been that great for Sutton in the last two weeks. Send help. Mama needs sleep.

Sunday we hung out at the house for a bit before deciding to go to My Favorite Muffin for muffins and coffee. Then we went back to Costco for diapers and a few miscellaneous items. We came home to hang out, feed the girls lunch and then a very short nap time followed by cranky toddlers. 

We had to pack up our kitchen (all the cabinets) while the girls played and napped. We went through everything and had a huge donation.

I ran to the grocery store and by the time I got back, their grandparents came over to hang out with them. The girls had asked for Papa all day (not sure which papa they wanted, but they wanted to see their grandparents) and so they came to visit.

Once my in-laws came over, we dropped off our donation, went to get Walter dog food and headed to Total Wine to redeem a coupon I had for $0.01 wine. Big time win even though we bought a bunch of other stuff.

We came home and hung out while watching the Panthers game and then fed the girls dinner, played and tried to wear the girls out for a peaceful night of sleep. Spoiler: it didn't work. Once the girls were down, I headed out to grab us pizza (I can't wait for my kitchen to be done, so I can cook more) and came back to watch the Broncos game which turned out to be a really good one. 

After dinner and the game, I watched the rest of Summer and I am waiting for Fall for tonight or tomorrow when Rory is at the basketball game. It took everything in me to not binge Gilmore Girls and I am glad I didn't. So far Summer was my least favorite. Stay tuned to see what I think of the rest of the season.

Sutton woke up at 11 pm again and I had to lay down in her room again for another hour. Then once I was able to go back to our room, I couldn't sleep. Too much on my mind. I slept for 2 to 3 hours last night. Ugh. I need a good nights rest so badly. That is what I want for Christmas.

And so that wraps up Thanksgiving weekend. How was your Thanksgiving?

I am linking up with Biana from B Loved Boston.
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Friday Favorites

Friday, November 25, 2016

Happy Black Friday all! I hope you are relaxed on your couch instead of in the throes of Black Friday shopping. I wait until Cyber Monday. Online shopping is my thing.

I thought about taking the day off from blogging, but I threw this post together to share some of my favorite things this week. Enjoy.

ONE. Emily at A Little Bit of Emily, talked about the song Closer that was done by The Chainsmokers and Sarah Hyland (yes, from Modern Family) and I can't stop listening to it. It is sooooo good. Love this version. Check it out for yourself.

TWO. We are cutting down our Christmas tree today with my favorites...my family, my in-laws and our friends. This is one of my favorite traditions and one that never disappoints. We all meet at a general store and follow each other out to a Christmas tree cutting area. We all spread out, search for the perfect tree, cut it down and take it back to our camp of trucks. After everyone gets back, we enjoy a tailgate like experience. We have a ton of food (my dad's best friends amazing chili for one), some libations and some tag football.

My girls went last year and we had a blast. This year should be even more fun!
twins cutting down trees
twins cutting down trees

THREE. I may have bought one of these shirts this week. Maybe.
Song Play Shirts
Song Play Shirts

FOUR. Did you see my post on Tuesday about shopping with Uncommon Goods? So many cute and unique Christmas gift ideas. I have already snagged a few items for friends and family.

FIVE. I set up Santa pictures this year a bit different than last year. Last year, we went to the local mall and paid through the nose for a cd with a few different shots. They turned out nice and we were happy with them, but if you live in this area, everyone had the same ones. I wanted something a little different and when we stopped in a local store Monday night to pick up a Wubba Nub (don't ask), they had a deal going on. You can set up an appointment online, go to their store at said time and have pictures with Santa with a professional photographer. They have a different set up each year, have limited spots, give you the best photo and it only costs $25. I call that a win in my book.

The girls have their photos set up on Sunday December 4th. I can't wait to see them experience Santa this year. I ordered their dresses (the navy sparkly one that everyone loved), they have their new hair cuts and we are all set. 

I am linking up with Karli, April and Erica.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I just wanted to drop by and say Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families. There will be no confessions or link up today as I just want to sit back, relax and enjoy my time with my beautiful family.
Since Rory already let this one out on FB, I decided to use it to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.
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