Friday, October 19, 2018

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.

ONE. I really don't have an introduction to this post. My mind has been in about three different places all week and I am trying to focus on what is truly family. I feel like we only share the good in our lives here and on IG. But life happens and it can truly suck sometimes. If you follow me on IG, then you might have seen an IG story I posted last Thursday. I was vague, but I told you all to hug your family. Well, my family has experienced another loss. Just three months ago, Rory's aunt passed away unexpectedly and now his cousin has passed away.

Both of these have been really hard on the family, but with Rory's aunt, she lived an amazing and beautiful long life. She was an amazing human being. But his cousin was 24 years young and still had so much life in front of him. To say that this was devastating, is an understatement.

TWO. So on a lighter note, I bought a beautiful dress recently. I am always on the hunt for work appropriate dresses and they are even better if I can wear them outside of work. I saw this on someone's IG feed and loved it, so I scouped it up for $33. I followed the reviews and ordered up one size and it is amazing. You can still get it for $33.
One Clothing Floral Peplum Dress

THREE. This week was National Bosses Day and I didn't even know about it. Oh well. But then I saw a funny and I know a lot of you can relate to this. I know I sure can.
National Bosses Day Funny

FOUR. So I got the cutest dresses for the girls for our Fall Family photos. I got them at a killer deal, but that deal is over. They are still on sale though. And they are even better in person. The girls will be wearing these dresses and these shoes.
Dress (not an affiliate link)

FIVE. As for my outfit, so far I have the skirt and I am buying the top this weekend. I picked out three tops at Nordstrom Rack and I need to go try them on and see them in person. I think the girls and I will look perfect together. Now to get Rory something to wear, ha.

SIX. I am just going to leave this here because I know I will be DRVing them all.
2018 Hallmark Christmas Movies

Have a great weekend!
Thursday, October 18, 2018

Girl Chat - DIY/Crafts

*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 Girl Chat and this month we are talking about Inspiration and sharing some DIY/Crafts. I am not the most crafty person, but I feel like I have pulled off a few amazing crafts in my day. I am sharing with you two DIY's and then linking to a few other DIYs/Crafts I have shared in the passed.

The first DIY/craft is a Christmas Ornament. This is the easiest craft to make.
DIY Wedding Invite Christmas Ornament

What You Need

 - Clear Large Ornament Ball (I bought mine from Hobby Lobby, but you can get a bunch from Amazon here)
- Items to put inside the ball (I have made one for my wedding using the wedding invitation and one for the girls which contains their birth hat and bracelets)
- Hot Glue Gun (optional)


Wedding Invitation Christmas Ornament

1. I cut my wedding invitation into half inch strips. It doesn't have to be perfect.

2. Using a pencil or pen, put your strip on the pencil and roll the strip around the pencil. I tightly roll it and then remove the curled piece. Continue to do this with all of the strips.

3. Once you have finished making your rolls, you can unroll them a bit to make them different sized rolls.

4. Put each roll into the ball. I used the pencil (eraser side) to move around and open the rolls up even more inside the ball.

5. Place the hanger back inside the ball and then you are finished. You can also hot glue the top on.

6. You can put a ribbon on the top if you would like, or just hang it up.

Ornament Ball Garland

I saw this on a blog I used to follow (now I just follow her on IG) and I knew I had to recreate it. I will forewarn you that it is hard to store it, so make sure you plan accordingly.

What You Need

- Ribbon (lots of it and the fabric kind)
- 2 to 3 Sets of Plastic Ornament Balls (I bought the 50 count packs at Target)
- Tape


1. Lay out all of your ornaments and cut your ribbon.
Christmas Ornaments

Tip: Buy the shatterproof ones if you can. 

2. Take your ribbon and fold it into a point, like the picture below.


3. Now string each ornament along the ribbon (at least 6 plus feet of ribbon, you may have to adjust later). You can put the ornaments as close as you would like (I think the closer the better). Make sure you leave a lot of ribbon on each side, so you can hang it from the wall. If you plan to put it on your fireplace mantel, then you own't need as much ribbon. 

Note: I had a few of my ornaments pop off the tops, so you can use a little hot glue to keep them on if need be.

4. Tie a knot at the end of each side and hang in your desired location.
Ornament Garland
As you can see, I made this when we still had our old kitchen.

Ornament Garland
We don't have a mantle over our fireplace, so I hung it up on a blank wall that we normally put all of our Christmas cards on.  I love this decoration and it was really simple to do.

Here are some other DIY/Crafts that I have posted in the past:
DIY Cake Topper
DIY Whitewashing a Brick Wall
DIY Lace Mason Jars
DIY Shadow Box

To link up - just grab our graphic, link up, and let's getting to chatting!  Make sure to stop by a few others linked up for an extra bit of girl chat!  
Girl chat monthly link up

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Fall Bucket List Update

It is time to check in on how we are doing with our Fall Bucket List. Especially since I wrote this almost exactly a month ago. Tomorrow is our Girl Chat link up and I wrote our Fall Bucket List for last month's Girl Chat. So how are we doing?

Fall Bucket List

Apple Hill - We went to Apple Hill last weekend!

Attend Football Game and Tailgate - As of today, I have been to three football games and tailgates this season.

Go to a Pumpkin Patch - We went to Ferrari Farms two weekends ago and then a pumpkin patch while we were at Apple Hill.

Attend a Fall Festival - Ferrari Farms is a Fall Festival and we went two weekends ago.

Decorate for Fall - I went to Hobby Lobby a couple weekends ago and I bought a bunch of new Fall decor and then came home and promptly decorated. I also brought out our Fall and Halloween decor that we already had.

Eat an Apple Cider Donut - We checked that off this weekend at Apple Hill. They are simply the best there.

Eat Caramel Apples - I have been eating them as a treat at the football games.

We still have seven items left on our list and I know we have a few of those items being checked off in the coming weeks!!!

How are you doing on your Fall Bucket List?
Monday, October 15, 2018


We had a pretty great weekend considering everything that is going on. Life is just really hard sometimes. But anyways, our weekend was eventful and we checked off some of our Fall Bucket List items.

Friday after work, I went to my nose surgeon for a 9 week check-up. The good news is my nose is healing, but the bad news is, I will need another surgery in February to correct my nostril that is still collapsed and some excess tissue in that nostril. It won't be as tough of a surgery, but it is still surgery.

After my appointment, I grabbed some lunch and then took Walter to the groomers. While he was getting groomed, I went to Target and then got the call that he was ready, but they found a worm in his bottom. I freaked a bit and went to pick him up. I also texted my friend who is a veterinarian surgeon to see what I should do. She suggested I take him to the vet to be checked out and see if it was indeed worms. Walter's normal vet is fully booked until December, so I had to take him somewhere else. I did a walk-in and we were seen pretty quickly. Turns out he didn't have worms, but excessive anal gland excretion. So gross. They got the rest out and made sure he was healthy and sent us off. 

I got home and did some cleaning since my girlfriend cancelled on going out that night. Then I met Rory for some sushi (after his golf) and then we picked the girls up from their grandparents house.

Saturday morning we got up and went to breakfast and then took the girls to their dance class. They had a blast and are really working on their routine for their Christmas recital. Then we drove the girls down to my parents house for the night. They were staying over while we went to the Nevada vs. Boise game. We went back to Target to return something and then headed home to get ready for the game.

We tailgated and had the best Italian food there.

And took some pictures with one of our mascots.

Then we made our way inside, but stopped at our plaque again.

Nevada lost and it was actually a pretty good game until the end. We seriously have the hardest time beating Boise. Ugh.

Sunday morning we tried to sleep in, but we weren't not able to. So we got up, got ready and then went to breakfast and headed down to get the girls and head to Apple Hill. Our first stop was Grandpa's Cellar. We all got some pie, strudel or crumble with ice cream. The girls just opted for ice cream. Then we headed to O'Halloran's Apple Trail Ranch so our friends could get some pumpkins. The girls helped our friends find some pumpkins and then they played with a kitten there.
O'Halloran's Apple Trail Ranch

pumpkin patch

pumpkin patch

Next, we headed to the Jack Russell Brewery and enjoyed a beer and some jalapeno kettle corn.

Only Avery was up for taking photos.

Next up was Eldorado Orchards which is the girls favorite place. They have a train, face painting, food and crafts there. When we got there, the girls immediately asked to get their face painted. They each chose a princess themed face painting.

Then they wanted to ride on the train, but Sutton backed out at last minute. So she and I walked around while Rory and Avery waited in line. We met them just as they were taking off so Sutton could wave to her sister and dad. Then we took some photos of the girls and our friends kids.
Eldorado Orchards

Eldorado Orchards

Eldorado Orchards
Sutton (my flower girl was holding them up)

Finally, we made our way to Boa Vista Orchards where the girls and I did some apple and pear tasting before heading in to buy the girls an apple each and then go look around at all the goodies. We ended up buying beet chips, a spicy snack mix, coconut macaroon almonds, dill pickle mustard and apple salsa. After everyone was finished, we drove back to Tahoe for some pizza at Tahoe Pizza Company We watched the Patriots game and the Astros game while hanging out with family and friends. It was a great finish to the day. Then we drove home (long drive) and got the girls ready for bed and crashed not long after them.

How was your weekend?
Friday, October 12, 2018

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.

Another week in the books. I can't believe we are halfway through October already. Ok, almost half way through. We have a lot planned for this weekend and we are checking some items off our Fall Bucket List.

Onto Friday Favorites and Happenings

ONE. Last week, Emily recommended Drop the Gown Essie Gel Polish and I went out and bought it since I needed more nail polish (haha, right) and wanted a darker red color for Fall. Well I painted my nails and I loved it. The color is darker than it appears on the bottle, it is long lasting (way longer than normal nail polish) and it is easy to remove (I already painted my nails last night for a fresh mani). Any other Fall color recommendations for Essie Gel Polish?
Essie Drop the Gown Gel Couture

Essie Drop the Gown Gel Couture

TWO. Remember a few weeks ago when I recommended a Free People top from Nordstrom that I was super excited about? Well I got it and the color was beautiful, the sleeves fit, it was comfy, but sooooo so large. Really boxy. I followed the models sizing as she was approximately my size and the shirt was sooo big. I had about 6 to 8 inches on each side of the shirt, if not more. I would need to size down to at least an XXS. So if you get this shirt, size way down. I am sad it didn't work for me, but I exchanged it for the second shirt (below) since I heard amazing things about it and it isn't as boxy.
We the Free by Free People Tangerine Tee

THREE. I have been working on our family photo outfits which has been tough. It is so hard to coordinate outfits for everyone. The struggle is real. First, I thought about the skirt I have wanted to wear for months (basically since Lizzie posted about it early summer) and said I would get a color to match whatever I picked for the girls. Easy, right? Ha. I spent hours looking at Gymboree, Zara, OshKosh, H&M, Old Navy, Gap and Target. Seriously hours. Then I put together looks on Canva and had a co-worker give her feedback on it. Then I scraped it all and picked out a dress I saw early on and settled on that for the girls. Plus I got 50% off the dresses plus an extra 25%. Total steal. So I have the girls dresses, shoes, my shirt, two shirts picked out at Nordstrom Rack to go try on and then there is Rory. We will figure out his once everything arrives. But I plan to share the look next week...hopefully.

Does anyone else struggle with putting together family photo outfits?

FOUR. One of my friends tagged me in a giveaway on IG and when I saw what was up for grabs, I decided to enter myself. You could win Winky Lux's Matcha Balm, Tinted Veil Moisturizer, and Diamond Powder Foundation plus an Elsa & Rose Bikini ($80 swimsuit). My friend raves about Winky Lux's make-up, so I wanted to try it for myself. Well I won (that never happens) and I can't wait to get my goodies.

FIVE. This is your monthly reminder for our Girl Chat link up next Thursday. The topic is Inspiration - Share a DIY/craft. I am sharing some of my favorite crafts/DIYs that I have created over the years. I am sharing two Christmas DIYs and then linking to some of the other ones I have shared over the past.
Girl Chat link up

I am linking up with AprilA Little Bit of EverythingMeet @ the Barre and Cup of Tea.

Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Euro Trip Part 2

If you missed part 1 of my Euro Trip, click here. We left off on Saturday night. This meant, I only had two more days in London before heading to Edinburgh, Scotland.

Sunday was another free day. A few of us met up at 10 am and headed out to the Camden Market. Camden is the area where punk rock was started. It has a grungy feel, but pretty cool. Rory told me about a market place there, so we met 3 other co-workers at the flea market area. We were soooo not impressed and wondered how Rory bought such amazing things on a previous trip. But then we walked further along the road and saw the real Camden Market.
Camden Market

Camden Market

Camden Market

We spent hours here shopping and eating. My co-workers made a huge dent in their wallets. After shopping, we headed back to the hotel to drop our things off before walking over to Buckingham Palace for the States Room Tour. I have been to London 4 times now and I have always wanted to go into Buckingham Palace. You don't get to see the bedroom or things like that, but so many beautiful rooms. They open this part to the public only during a few months a year (during Summer). And photos are not allowed. I only got a few snaps outside, but it was pretty amazing and beautiful in there.
Buckinham Palace

Buckinham Palace Gardens

After our tour, we went to Covent Gardens for some more shopping. This time we all bought a bunch of tea from Whittard's. Then we made our way over to Sticks N Sushi for you guessed it, sushi. And it was amazing. Seriously sooooo good. I got a salmon sashimi and a rainbow roll. We also split some ebi bites (tempura shrimps).
salmon sashimi

Sticks N Sushi rolls

After dinner, we stopped at Gelupo for some gelato and then headed back to the hotel.

Monday we worked all day and then headed back out to Bone Daddies for more ramen. This time we tried a different location which was closer to where our co-workers were staying.

Tuesday, one of my co-workers and I headed out to Edinburgh, Scotland. We flew there, so we most of the day was spent at the airport. It is a quick flight, but with international flights, you need to be there at least 2 hours ahead of time.

Once we got into Edinburgh, we checked into our hotel and unpacked. Then we set out and walked around the castle grounds.
Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

We stopped for a beer before going into a few shops.

Scotland Church

bag piper

snow owl

edinburgh scotland

The rain was coming in from the leftovers of Hurricane Helene and the weather quickly turned on us. Luckily, we were able to walk to our dinner spot. It was crowded, so we put our name in and went around the corner to my favorite bar, Lebowskis. Yes it is just like the movie. You can drink a variety of White Russians and they play Big Lelowski on the tvs. It is such a cool place and the drinks were amazing.
Lebowskis The Dude
 I got The Dude

White Russians from Lebowskis
And an amazing caramel one.

After our drinks, we went back over to Bar Italia for dinner. My co-worker (different one) and I went here two years ago and loved it. We went back twice since it was that good. This time, it was just ok. Not bad, but not great. Then we headed back to the hotel in the rain.

Wednesday we got up bright and early for work. We spent our day in meetings and then headed out into the massive rain and wind storm. The hurricane had definitely made its way into Scotland. We had trouble walking anywhere. We grabbed a cappuccino along the way which was one of the best cappuccinos I have ever had.
caramel crunch cappuccino

Since it was raining so much, we decided to go do the Whisky Experience (tour). We did the tour, had a scotch tasting and then went into their tasting room for another drink.
Whisky Experience
 Whisky Experience

Whisky Experience

Aberfeldy Scotch

After the tour, we headed out to dinner at Wildfire Steakhouse and had the most romantic steak dinner. Ha. It was funny because it was a girl co-worker and I at this tiny steakhouse which seats about 10 tables in a small room. We sat by the fireplace, shared a lobster gratin and a bottle of wine. The we each got filets with mashed potatoes. It was soooo heavenly.
Wildfire Steakhouse

Les Oliviers Wine

After dinner we headed back to the hotel to pack up for Ireland.

Thursday morning we headed out to Ireland. This day was spent mostly at the airport again. But when we arrived, we checked into our hotel, unpacked and made it to the Guinness Tour for the last tour of the day. I had been on this tour before, but my co-worker hadn't, so we enjoyed a Guinness and then went shopping in their store.
Guinness Tour in the gravity bar

It was raining all day, so we took a cab to our restaurant for dinner. We went The Boxty House and got one of their boxty dishes. They specialize in these potato pancake filled "burrito type" of dishes. We both got the steak one and shared some of their dumplings (kind of like gnocchi).
Boxty House dumplings
 The dumplings were really good and had this amazing sauce on them.

Boxty House beef boxty
I liked this dish, but thought the filet medallions could have been more tender. But the mushroom gravy on it was sooooo good. I also had one of the best Old Fashion's there.

After dinner, we took a taxi back to the hotel and turned in early.

Friday we had more meetings that we went to. After the meetings, we had a nice cappuccino in our hotel (seriously was soooo good) and then headed out into the rain. We walked over to Trinity College. I went last time I was in Dublin, but it is so beautiful and worth it. We also shopped in the school store. I even bought myself a shirt to match the one I got for the girls last time and bought a warm and cozy beanie there.

Trinity College
A little break in the rain (too).

Then we headed over to Temple Bar area to take the iconic Temple Bar photo. My co-worker also shopped in their store.
Temple Bar

Soon it was time to get dinner and we headed over to a pub with traditional Irish food and it was awful. The scene was fun with a live band and people watching, but the food sucked. I got some sort of Sheppard's Pie with an Italian take on it (was a house favorite) and it was nasty. I ate a couple bites and then had some of my co-workers seafood stew and soda bread, which was better. Overall, we were disappointed in the food there. So we headed back to the hotel to pack up and head back to London bright and early the next morning. As in, we left the hotel at 4 am.
This view never gets old.

I slept from about 8:30 pm until 1:30 am and then was too excited to head home, so I surfed Instagram and texted my boss to make sure they landed back in the States ok. We left our hotel at 4 am and flew to London. We had a short layover which we almost missed, but thankfully we did not. Then we flew home and I was greeted by the two sweetest little girls in the world and their daddy. They even held up signs welcoming me home.