February 27, 2013

Jewelry I Love!

Jewelry and I have a special relationship. I love it and want all these amazing pieces, but can never justify spending money on jewelry because I hardly have the opportunity to wear it. 
And I don't really purchase a lot of cheap jewelry, sure I am guilty of the occasional $5 bracelet, but as a general rule, I want my jewelry to last and stand the test of time!

My go to jewelry piece?
My monogram necklace.

I love it. I wear it ALL the time. It is go to piece.
18k Gold Plated and gorgeous!
Plus the guy I got it from on Etsy is amazing!
Check him out here!
He works with you to get you the perfect sketch before he goes to work!
He ships fast and I highly recommend him!

I loved his work so much that I worked with him to give my mom a little Christmas gift...

She loves it too! And she is the jewelry queen!!

So what are you waiting for, get a monogram necklace!

Here are some more pictures of me modeling. Can't waste a cute outfit right ladies?!

Jewelry: Monogram Necklace (Etsy) // Engagement Ring/wedding band // pearl ring from HI
Blouse: Express (my sister got it for me!) // Ann Taylor Cords (Favorite) 
Boots: Jessica Simpson // Purse: Dooney and Bourke
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Linking up with: Shanna, The Pleated Poppy, Lauren, Sarah/Alisa, Rolled Up Pretty, Casual Friday, Amber, Abby.

*This is an honest review of a necklace I purchased. No other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own and were not influenced by anything other than my love for jewelry!

February 26, 2013

Tuesday Topics: The Flowers

I love flowers.
They can instantly turn a mood, space, and feeling around.
Today I will give you the first post on an aspect of my wedding!
(get ready for picture overload!)

The main detail I think I really look back on and say yeah...not how I wanted it....about my wedding were the flowers. (I hope this doesn't get to debbie downer! haha!)

I love peonys.
Here were my inspirations for what I wanted:

My dream bouquet. White with touches of pink.

The bridesmaids inspiration was this, but I wanted them to be all pink instead of white.

Then we would use their bouquets as centerpieces.

This is what I had:
Let me first talk about my charms because they are special.
These were my something blue/old.

The deep blue charm is a charm of my moms. It is Jesus.
The second charm is mine. It is a vintage flower charm that has just the slightest tinge of blue. I don't remember how or where I got it, but I have always kept it.

So the flowers basically had one pink peony stuck in a bunch of white. I think it at least needed two pinks so as not to look way weird and random. I knew they were going to add the calla lily to tie into the guy's boutonnieres, but I think they ended up adding too many.

The guys boutonnieres ended up looking great though!
The guys got a single, Kevin got a double, and the dads got small flowers.

The girls didn't have great bouquets and they ended up not dressing the tables as I had dreamed they would.
And their bouquets and mine had these long ribbons I didn't have time to cut off....haha!

Even worse were the corsages for the moms and grandmoms.
This was what I wanted. A simple pearl bracelet with a spider mum on top.

The flowers ended up not coming in so my florist made an executive decision to change them. They didn't even get a picture taken of them. They were that bad. :-/

My vision for the cake was also not matched, but I was happy with the flowers that adorned the cake.

More wedding posts to come soon!
The Austin Family Diary

February 25, 2013

Snow in Arizona

Putting pen to paper some issues that I am having is not the right thing to do right now. This weekend got pretty emotional for me, but despite it all I had a really fun weekend!

We got hit with a snow storm Thursday! This is what my house in ARIZONA looks like covered in snow.
Pretty awesome!

So Saturday a bunch of our friends and us all went up to Mount Lemmon. It is a mountain in Tucson that has a ski area! Only one lift and we easily skiied all the runs, but so much fun!

Most of the group

All of the group!

Sunday I volunteered and spent time with Kevin. 
Awesome weekend!

Don't forget to link up tomorrow for Tuesday Topics! 
Tomorrow I am doing my first of many posts on my wedding!
The Austin Family Diary

Linking up with:

February 24, 2013

Garbage Bread

So I have been very successful on cooking at home here for my new husband and decided to make Garbage Bread. So tasty and yes I have included the recipe for all you fine folks!

The first time I prepared this, we were newly married. This is super easy, looks good. I plate it and we eat!
Now don't judge, but we were eating in front of the TV. I first made this when the Olympics were going on, and I notice that Kevin is eating rather slowly...

Silly me, I thought he was full or into the Olympics.
Nope. He just wasn't digging the food.

My fault though. He doesn't like ranch dressing {which is something I could bathe in} and I legitimately forgot.

But it was yummy and now I don't have to share my leftovers :-)

I made it for two of my girlfriends and they loved it.
Then I interviewed Kevin and he once again showed his disdain.
So here is the infamous recipe for all of you fantastic lovers out there!

Garbage Bread

2 boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp olive oil
1 tube of Pillsbury pizza dough (Let it sit out of the fridge in the tube for at least 10 min)
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Frank's Wing Sauce
Ranch Dressing

Start by cutting your chicken into cubes. Then add a tsp of olive oil to your skillet and heat. Add the chicken and season with a bit of salt and pepper {if you wish. I did, but it rendered completely unnecessary}

Then once almost cooked, add the wing sauce. You may find that you need more, go ahead! Let it simmer and finish cooking and then take the chicken off the flame and set aside.

Pre-heat your oven to 415.

Spread your pizza into a long rectangular shape. {This is where you will be glad you let it sit out}

Now add some ranch dressing. I didn't put a lot on mine because I didn't want the powerful flavor of ranch to be too overbearing. {thinking of you Kevin!} Just enough to coat the dough. I also didn't want it to get the dough soggy. I think I could have safely added more, so add as much as you wish.

Then add the cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. I love my cheese, so I really piled that on!

Then I added on the chicken. You may or may not have some chicken left over depending how much you add. I actually had some cubes left over and have another recipe planned for those. :-) And it does not involve ranch dressing!

Then you can start rolling the dough like a pinwheel. Make sure you press the ends in as you go and tuck them in when you reach the end. This is to prevent the middle from oozing out while baking.

So you are almost done, spray the 9 by 13 glass dish {or a baking sheet} and place the garbage bread there. Bake for 20 minutes.

And yum!
Now I am scared to try again because Kevin didn't like it, but I wonder what it would be like with blue cheese dressing...

February 21, 2013

One Year Anniversary with Tucson

Kevin and I are no longer new to Tucson.
Sure he has been here slightly longer then me,
but in terms of being here together, it has been (a little over) one year!
So we're basically locals...
On January 1st 2012 we traded the small city life/college town to a bigger city/bigger college town.
(and really me full time in June...minor details people! Gosh I must be confusing all of you out there...okay so when did you really move to Tucson? Are you really in Tucson? haha JK!)

At least it is only 4 hours away...

Goodbye to amazing family and friends and being able to get across town in 15 minutes.

Goodbye to being able to have target practice in your backyard and to beautiful farms and pecan trees.

Hello emissions testing and higher property taxes.

Hello to long commutes to get anywhere in town (especially Marshall's and Sam's Club!)

And hello to simply knowing that something five miles away
will probably take at least 20 minutes to drive to...

But for right now I wouldn't have it any other way.

 Happy one year anniversary to me and Kevin and Tucson.
Thanks for employing both of us and welcoming us with hot weather, saguaros, barrel cactus, cholla (those spines are a pain to get out of your shoes!) and a real college football team.
It's been pretty great.

February 20, 2013

Low Carb

Before the wedding, I lost a little bit of weight and felt great in my wedding dress and in my own skin! I did low carb! Very little chocolate, no fruits, no nuts, no breads, no pasta, no starchy veggies, no bread, and no tortillas!

I also ran and was at a great weight for me.

Now I have gained weight. Lots of it. I need to get rid of it.

The idea of this restrictive diet for another few months sounds about as fun playing high five with a cactus. Plus it is harder because I have Kevin in my house and he needs carbs. It's a lot easier to not cheat when your choices in the fridge is tea, a cheese stick, lettuce, or a chicken breast. No one ever craves lettuce at 9:30 at night, I promise.

Clearly I have gained this weight by having little self control. I need to fix this.


February 18, 2013

Tuesday Topics: Three Stores

If you know anything about me, you know that I pretty much live at 

Fave store forever!
Ask me at any given day (if I am not wearing scrubs) where my shirt, pants, etc...came from, it would be Marshall's!

Second right now would have to be Home Goods. haha what a shocker! Right across the street from Marshall's it makes for a convenient shopping trip!

Third right now would have to be Wayfair! (Can you tell I am in a home buying mood?!)
I am currently waiting on this baby to arrive!
Belgium Panel Bed
I'll take a better picture when it arrives! Boo on having to wait till March 7th!
The Austin Family Diary

Stuffed Shells and Valentine's Day

Valentines day! I LOVE it! However the day before and the day of, my twitter and facebook feeds were blowing up with anti-valentine messages. Here are my feelings.

I don't understand couples that say "we don't do Valentine's Day, we celebrate love everyday" I celebrate the Lord everyday, this doesn't mean I don't do Christmas...

Anyway, on Wednesday night I had a really late night at work. I knew I was going to sleep in on Thursday. Kevin did not disappoint! He left me to wake up to a beautiful bouquet of flowers and the most expensive card he has ever gotten me...aka. a NEXUS 10!!!!


Then I made him stuffed shells (recipe at the bottom) and he LOVED them.
Lots of LOVE!

Then I went to work and he came home and ate shells and surprised me by staying up late at night with candles, wine, shells, and a perfect evening.

We woke up the next morning early and I was at work by 6AM. gross.
Then I came home and Kevin did homework. I cleaned the house and packed for skiing this weekend. Unfortunately, we skipped skiing and I unpacked and tackled some yardwork. Kevin got sick. :-/

But everything happens for a reason and I am still happy to keep a smile on my face and spend the weekend with my sick one!
yeah...I am a sexy one. Gotta get that yard in shape!

Stuffed Shells:


1 15 ounce container of ricotta cheese
1 cup of mozzarella cheese
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 egg
1 box of store bought shells
1 bottle of store bought pasta sauce


Cook the shells according to package instructions. Drain, let cool.

Mix the ricotta, mozzarella, salt, oregano, and egg.

Stuff shells with the mixture and place on thin layer of sauce in a 9x13 baking dish. Stuff those babies good, they will bake really close together!

Pour the rest of the sauce over and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Then enjoy!

Hope everyone has a fun and healthy weekend!

February 13, 2013

Quizzing Kevin (V-day Edition)

I couldn't resist linking up and using Kevin for Valentine's Day by asking him some questions! For my bridal shower we did something similar where they asked Kevin questions and I had to guess his answers. I did pretty good, so I have a feeling that we will do pretty good here!

How long have you been married? 
His: 8.5 months
Hers: 8 1/2 months

Where was your first date?
His: Batman Begins and Coldstone 
Hers: Batman Begins and Coldstone

Where was your first kiss? 
His: After watching Red Eye
Hers: In the mall parking lot after watching Red Eye

Who first said, "I love you"? 
His: I did.
Hers: He did.

What were your wedding colors? 
His: pink and green
Hers: pink and green

What is her most commonly used phrase?
His: Oh my lanta.
Hers: Oh my lanta.

Who is her celebrity crush? 
His: Josh Bowman
Hers: I don't know (ooh that is a good one!)

If she was ordering drinks for both of you what would you each get? 
His: tequila with agave for you and a long island for me
Hers: white wine for me and an amaretto sour for him

What is the best meal she has ever cooked you? 
His: sweet and sour chicken
Hers: chicken pot pie

What is the worst meal she has ever cooked you? 
His: garbage bread 
Hers: missed attempt at a white pizza (what?!? I love garbage bread!!)

What is the most-played song on her iPod? 
His: More than Words by Extreme
Hers: right now it would be I knew you were trouble by tswifty

What would she say is your most annoying habit? 
His: not clearing the microwave 
Hers: forgetting to eat! How does that happen?!? (that is true! clear it darn it!)

What is the last thing she does before she goes to bed? 
His: Check Pinterest
Hers: Kiss him goodnight (oh jeez)

If you could throw out one item of her clothing what would it be? 
His: old holey jeans
Hers: my old polos?

What's her go-to drink at Starbucks?
His: nothing. 
Hers: nothing. Not a starbucks fan.

What's her blog's name?! 
His: Life Love Lauren
Hers: Life Love Lauren

Hope you are all going out celebrating yourself or your love with a loved one! I will be working (yeah, shocker) but Kevin and I have planned a ski weekend this weekend! yay!

February 11, 2013

Tuesday Topics: Things You Don't Know...About Me!

Yay Tuesdays! I love when you roll around!

Four things people don't know about you is the topic...
1. I am
2. a
3. rule
4. breaker

haha get ready for a longer list than four things about me...
I couldn't narrow it down!
And had wayyy to much fun with this post.

I can't stand when people leave the microwave with time left still there. It isn't that hard to clear it! 

I have huge feet. Size 9-10 and I am only fivefoottwo.
That is big and yes there is a whole size dif because I also don't think people can claim on size shoe.
Shoe sizes vary so much with each brand. Plus I probably have the most narrow feet you has ever seen.

I drink lots of water. I have never had a carbonated beverage in my life. I really don't care to be drinking milk, juice, etc...so that leaves me water! (and alcohol)

I can't make shopping decisions to save my life. I practically have to ask my mom about everything because she will know what I like before I do.

I have never dyed my hair. Virgin hair right here.
That will change after my first grey though.
Hair you have been warned!

I am the repeater of songs. Just over and over again.

I was a bed wetter. Like up to the age of 10ish. Medications were tried, sleepovers were a nightmare....you get the idea.

I can't open cinnamon rolls, biscuits, or crescent rolls. ahhhhhhh!

I eat more cheese then you. Period. I love cheese.

My middle sister and I are not far apart in age. Sometimes we would fight. I had a tiny temper on my as a kid and would sometimes hit her. (sorry Tess!) When my mom would catch me or find me after I hit my sister, I would tell her "I hit her because we were playing opposites. Meaning I hit her I love her!" haha....still got grounded.

I love to indulge in chocolate and I rarely feel guilty about it.

I love being married!

When I was in Elementary school I did a play for Hanukkah and I had one line in the entire play. I was so excited! The line was "Look at the Menorah!" Instead it came out "Look at the manure!" Oops....

I love organization...but rarely feel organized

I love puppies.

I could trip over a microscopic pebble. I am one of the clumsiest people ever.

My family has the nickname Lorenzo for me. I am probably one of the only people with a nickname longer than my real name. Never the less, I respond. (Only to my family. No one else can call me that!)

I hate making important phone calls like calling to make an appt or something. At work I am fine...on my personal cell phone I get all weird. Who the heck knows why....

I'm a very nostalgic person. I am constantly reliving memories in my head from my childhood.

I react to onions more than anyone I know. I can cry from upstairs if they are being cut downstairs. Yet oddly enough I don't cry very often. It is really hard to make me cry...

I like to pee in the shower.

I'll stop there.
The Austin Family Diary

February 10, 2013

35 Reasons I Love Kevin

Kevin and I have not been married yet a year, but as I sit here on a rare night off work and watching Kevin do his homework (he is back rocking grad school!) 
I can't stop thinking about how much I love him. 
And I love making lists....who doesn't love a good list?!

Even though we dated for 7 years before getting married, marriage has been an amazing blessing that is making me love Kevin in different ways then I ever knew possible. Cue the aww.....

I love the way our hands always find each others.
I love listening to you be excited about things.
I love staring into your eyes.
I love when we laugh together.
I love seeing interact with our parents.
I love it when you say 'I love you'.
I love how you are so patient with me.
I love that you would do anything and everything for me.
I love telling people about you.
I love when you randomly tell me how beautiful you think I am.
I love snuggling up close to you on the couch.
I love when you play with my hair.
I love how smart, gorgeous, hard working, considerate, and everything else that you are.
I love when I come home and you're already home.
I love it when we're really silly.
I love your height.
I love how you make me feel beautiful in sweatpants.
I love how you twitch while you're sleeping. (you know the rule!)
I love my big spoon.
I love when you leave me notes when I wake up in the morning.
I love how you make me feel safe.
I love when you tell me you miss me.
I love your smile.
I love the way you make me smile, all the time.
I love how when you hug me, I'm home.
I love your sense of integrity.
I love when you hunch over and get excited about me scratching your back.
I love knowing that you're always going to be there.
I love talking about the future with you.
I love writing your last name in cursive.
I love finding myself smiling just because I'm thinking about you.
I love making our first house a home with you.
I love the way you put me first and open doors for me.
I love that you make me drive the safer car.
I love you.

February 7, 2013


I am super obsessed with Revenge. (starts back up on Sunday!) It is an amazing TV show! But more then that, I wanna share a closet (and dress size) with Emily and Ashley!

How beautiful are some of their outfits?!

So chic!

She mirrors her nemesis Victoria in classic beautiful shapes!

I want everything to do with her outfits!

Look she even recycles her purses! I could do that with that wardrobe too!

They even do casual and trendy so well! 

I just want to hang with the cast! They seem so fun and good looking!

Can't wait for the next episode of Revenge!!
Who wants to take me shopping!?

February 6, 2013

Easy Penne

If you follow me on instagram, you would see Kevin finally got a home cooked meal out of me! I have been really trying to improve what recipes I can make ahead of time and leave for him with quick prep. I work swing shift, so I am never home at dinner time. Crock Pot recipes usually don't work because it is too long for most things (even on low) between the time I leave and the time he gets home. I ramble, but anyway, only change I would make is more sauce. Get two bottles of sauce instead of one. Kevin really enjoyed dinner. Either he was starving or being honest. I will let you guys decide....

Lauren's Easy Baked Penne

What to buy:
1 box of penne pasta
1 jar of Bertolli Four Cheese Rosa (I would use two!)
Mozzarella cheese (you guys should know by now I never measure my cheese!)
Parmesan cheese

How to do:
Cook the pasta and drain. Mix the sauce in with the mozzarella in a separate bowl.
Combine and coat that penne really good!
Pour the pasta into that trusty 9x13 pyrex and cook at 250 for about 20-25 min or until bubbly.
Take it out and sprinkle parmesan cheese over it and place it back into the oven for another 5 min.

And dig in! Next time I think I will add some of my homemade garlic bread into the mix!

February 4, 2013

Tuesday Topics: Five Hometown Activities

I was born and raised in Las Cruces, NM. I got married in May (in Las Cruces) and moved to my husband in Tucson, AZ. I don't feel like I have the lay of the land here in Tucson yet, but once I do I will share that!

I love the mountains surrounding Las Cruces. My sisters and I don't look bad either! ;-)

Not a lot of people know about Las Cruces or would think of going there. I mean the nearest airport is in Texas (45 min away), better malls are in Texas as well, and New Mexico itself has no pro sport teams.

Yeah that is a bummer, but we do have beautiful weather year round and I can list 5 fun things to do!

White Sands National Monument. A MUST. It is so gorgeous! It is nothing but white sand for miles! Bring a saucer and have fun sledding down the hills! 
haha husband! 

There is also the best Mexican food period.
Just to name a few...Andele's, Pepper's, El Sombrero, Chope's, Delicias, Si Senor, La Posta, and Roberto's.
Roberto's owner is actually in the Guinness Book of World Records for the biggest enchilada! They have a three day fiesta (fiesta=party in Spanish) called The Whole Enchilada Fiesta.

You can wash that down with the best custard EVER at Caliche's Frozen Custard. Or by visiting any of our wine festivals, beer festivals, chili festivals.

If you are into outdoorsy stuff, there are a lot of great mountains ranges to check out (If you want to hike in the desert...). There is A-Mountain, Dripping Springs, Aguirre Springs, The Robledo's, and a myriad of others. The Mountains are just gorgeous!

New Mexico State University is in Las Cruces and it is an oasis in the desert with lovely trees and grass
Spring time trees with the Student Union in the background.

I got me an education there and it was great! I just would ignore their football team...

There is tons of farming here! One of the farming families here as a corn maze and pumpkin patch.
Me with my pumpkin! Helps the economy here and is soooo fun!

Of course we also farm chili, onions, cotton, and pecans. Las Cruces is actually one of the biggest suppliers of pecans. They are so yummy and give Las Cruces some pretty green trees to look at!

Kevin and I did our engagement shoot in the pecans. love.

And last but not least, (cause there are more then 5 awesome things to do!) Las Cruces is home to a colorful culture. Visiting Mesilla for southwestern jewelry, textiles, and food is a must. 

Basilica of San Albino in Old Mesilla

Link up below so I can "visit" your hometown!

The Austin Family Diary
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