April 30, 2013

Tuesday Topics: Jewelry

I am taking a spin this week just like I did here and focus on my wedding. I really loved the jewelry I wore for my wedding!

First off I love my wedding set.
This is a three generations photo: My (late) Grandma, Me, and my Mom.

My necklace that I wore was really special to me. It was my something borrowed. (and worked for something old!) My mom wore this very same necklace when she got married. I kept her close to my heart the entire day.

I also wore some beautiful earrings and a bracelet that gave me just the right amount of sparkle!

What are some of your favorite pieces of jewelry?
Link up below!

The Austin Family Diary

April 25, 2013

The Kids are Alright

So the other night I was watching the news and this story popped up about a one and a half year old and a seven year old that were found in a car with the doors unlocked and the windows half way down. Someone called the cops and found the mother in the store and the parents were given a citation. 

I stared at my husband and he stared back. He spoke first
"This makes the news?"

Exactly my thought!
I mean didn't we all used to stay in the car when mom had to go into the store and we didn't want to go?
What was the point of going in when we were too old to get the free sugar cookie?
Please tell me you guys remember this...

Left in a car on my own! For shame!!!

These kids were fine. In fact, we had a cold front enter the dessert, so it was a whopping 76 degrees (assuming they were found at the hottest part of the day) with a nice breeze. With those windows down, I bet it was quite comfortable.

It just goes to show how much times change that this makes the news and that kids aren't allowed to stay in cars anymore without someone yelling abuse.

As most of you know, when my sister was 5, she was diagnosed with Leukemia. 
When you have cancer, your immune system is low and germs can kill you.
My mom needed something like eggs and milk (you know staples) and decided to stop by the store with my sister. She could not come in due to the germs. Therefore my mom left her in the car with the car on. Well, my sister turned the car off and someone worried that she was left in a car all on her own...

Oh goodie.
Every situation is different and we never know when we go to judge.
I don't even know how to end this post.
I guess...I think this is just crazy!

April 24, 2013

Late Weekend Update

I had a super great weekend this past weekend!
I was also too busy working Monday and Tuesday to get this posted in a timely manner.
Such is life!

Friday: I worked. Then enjoyed a nice night with Kevin watching the extended versions of LOTR. Yeah we know how to party.

Saturday: Kevin and I went to Market on the Move. This is a program where you can get up to 60 pounds of produce for 10 bucks! Kevin and I are only two people so we only opted for 30 pounds of food, but it was fun and a great deal! Then we went clothes shopping. We both need it. He was far more successful than me. We also went and did some quick Homegoods shopping taking care (hopefully) of our office chairs.

Then I had girls night with Alli and friends! We went to Phx and attended The Shine Project Beauty Bar fundraiser. (Ashley was gorgeous too, but I was ironically to nervous to meet her and she was super busy. Maybe next time!) I got my nails done cute, learned some awesome makeup tricks from Ali, and all and all had a good time. I very briefly got to meet Stesha and she really is every bit as pretty as she is on her blog!

Sunday: I slept in and my dad came into town. He always stops either on his way or back to his work in Phx to see me. We hung out in the kitchen while I was being super productive freezing all my veggies from Market on the Move and dehydrating them. Kevin made his beef jerky which was really good! Super productive! Then we went out to a yummy little dinner, watched some basketball, and went to bed! 

One day I will be talented patient enough to figure out how to make those instagram collages. Do people use PicMonkey for that too? I know that is something I need to look into anyway...

Back to the grind! Hope everyone had a great weekend!!

April 22, 2013

Tuesday Topics: Four Sites I Check Daily

I am pretty predictable with my sites that I visit daily...

Because I try and write a little everyday...

Cause I like to read everyone's posts! It is my favorite thing to do!
Follow me here!

I mean...enough said?!?
Check out my Pinterest here!

This is how I listen to most of my music. I just like to pick a song and go! This is the song I used this morning to get my up and on the go!

Honorable Mentions: Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (is that a site?!), and Gmail!

Okay that was totally predictable. Wanna go to some fun sites I like? Try these:

The Good Life
Gabba Gabba Gorgeous
Highest Heels

The Austin Family Diary

Or how about some bloggers I visit on the daily? The ones below!!! Link up with us and have some fun!

April 19, 2013

Lauren's Leftover Easter Ham Recipes

I made my first ever holiday dinner and it was a success!
Then I was left with lots of ham!
Leftover city for two people! That meant lots of different ways to do ham!
Here is what I did!

Ham & Cheese Crescent Roll Poppers

Swiss Cheese
Crescent Rolls
Optional: pineapple (You could add some pineapple if you wanted to make them more of a Hawaiian Ham, Pineapple & Cheese Crescent Roll Popper. )

Cube up some leftover ham
Roll out a crescent roll
Put some ham cubes and a cube of swiss cheese onto the crescent roll
Roll the crescent roll and pinch the sides of the dough together. This keeps the cheese from oozing out
Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes
Serve and try not to eat all of them!

I think next time I might brush some butter over them before they are done!

Ham and Cheese Sliders
This recipe is adapted from the wonderful Girl who ate Everything! I think this was my favorite post holiday ham recipe!

Pieces of ham
Pieces of swiss cheese
Miracle Whip
Briana's Poppyseed Dressing

Mix together the mayo and miracle whip and spread that mixture onto both sides of a sliced roll. Place pieces of fam and swiss cheese in roll and made sandwich.
Then pour poppyseed dressing over the sandwiches.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes and you are good to go!

Ham & Mac and Cheese
I made my classic mac and cheese and added some ham.
I think this is something everyone does with leftovers, but let me just use this as an excuse to give you the best mac and cheese recipe in the world. It is my MILs

Ham chunks
3 cups of boiling water
1/2 tsp salt
1tsp oil
1 cup macaroni
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup evaporated milk (funny story one time I accidentally grabbed sweetened condensed milk. BIG MISTAKE!!)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup of cubed cheese

Add macaroni to water and bring to a boil, then simmer until al dente (about 25 min). 
Then drain the water. 
Mix the flour in a small amount of water until it is a smooth paste. 
Add water to make 1/2 cup and then add 1/2 cup of evaporated milk. 
Add salt and pepper to taste. 
Stir in macaroni, turn up the heat, and stir until  until it boils. It will thicken when removed from heat. 
Then stir in the cheese (and ham) and you are good to go!

Slow Cooker Egg, Spinach, and Ham Breakfast Casserole
The lone breakfast recipe! There are so many you could do with ham though. This one is an easy one especially with company over!
6 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 tsp of thyme
1/2 tsp of onion powder
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1 cup of baby spinach
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup of diced ham

Whisk the eggs, salt, pepper, milk, thyme, onion powder, and garlic powder.
Stir in cheese, spinach, and ham.
Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray.
Pour mixture in and let it cook on high for an hour and a half! Eggs should be set. It may take more time depending on your slow cooker.
Slice and serve!

Ham and Cheese Spread

2 cups cooked ham, chopped
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp mustard
Optional: Sweet relish
Crackers for serving

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until blended. 
You may need to stir a little more by hand to make sure that the mayonnaise and mustard are blended thoroughly. Chill in refrigerator. Serve with crackers. I love me a good spread!

Holiday Hot Pockets

1-2 cups cooked ham, chopped
1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup swiss cheese
1-2 cups of cooked broccoli
Refrigerated Pizza Dough

Separate dough into balls and roll to 1/4 inch thick. Place filling into the middle of the dough leaving some room on the edges. 
Fold over unfilled part and crimp the edges with a fork to seal. 
Poke small wholes in the top to vent. 
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Enjoy and freeze and double recipe if you wish!

Ham Bone Soup
Let nothing go to waste!

1 ham bone with some meat
3 potatoes cubed
4 cups of water
3 cubes of chicken bouillon
1 green bell pepper cubed
1 onion diced
1 (14.5 ounce) Rotel (I like the kick it adds. You could also use just diced tomatoes if you don't like spice)
Optional: chopped carrots, chopped celery

Place ham bone, onion, rotel, potatoes, pepper, and any optional vegetables into a crock pot. Dissolve bouillon in water and pour into the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on high until warm. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for 5 hours.

What do you do with your leftover meat?
Husband approved every one of these recipes! Yay!!

April 18, 2013

Alphabet Dating

We have all been there before...one person says “what do you want to do tonight?” and the other says “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” This continues until someone either breaks down and makes a decision, or things fall apart and you spend the rest of the evening at home clearing out your DVR.
 The idea behind this date is quite easy – simply pick a letter of the alphabet and choose only activities that begin with that letter. Kaitlyn and Sharlee are heading this up. I picked the letter D. I had planned to plan a fun date that included making Kevin watch Duck Dynasty with me, and he did!

 When I suggested this date to Kevin, he was a bit skeptical. He was open to it and gave it a try. We set to brainstorming ideas. This step in the process is key to success. If you don’t do a quick brainstorm you might end up staring vacantly at each other all night, which probably isn’t what you had in mind. In fact, you might want to brainstorm the night before you do it in case it takes a while to decide on a letter and think of activities.

Then I got violently ill sick. Thankfully Kevin stepped up by taking care of me and brainstormed and came up with a better date then I could have ever imagined! 

Though I was skeptical of the alphabet date at first, I ended up thoroughly enjoying myself. It got us out doing things we probably never would have done otherwise and is very useful when trying to think of things to do.

Kevin made up this schedule, I can take no credit for this amazing date! (Minus the Duck Dynasty part haha!)

Double Double from the In-N-Out Drive-thru
Mhhm and boy was that yummy! We intended to totally go through the drive-thru but it was wayyy busy, so we went inside. whoops! But we did get double the double doubles! haha! 

Detour through the Desert
We then went and drove through Saguaro National Park. It was very pretty!

selfie alert!

Drive to Phoenix with playlist of D bands
So then we were on our way to Phoenix! Kevin made a playlist of songs from bands that start with the letter D. It was fun!

Return Dark Table at IKEA
Yeah, we ran an errand on our date, but we tied it in quite nicely, and hey, we are busy people!!

Double Date at Diamondbacks Dodgers Game
Well hello Tiffany and Cody! I love that they are so close! We got tickets that got us a hot dog, drink, and cookie. For some reason our cookie voucher didn't print out so we didn't get our cookie :-( but we still had fun! The Diamondbacks tried to rally but they were unsuccessful. 

We had to laugh at how bad the lighting was to take adequate blogger photos! We only got one as a group and let me tell you I am sitting like a big slouch. Not attractive. I guess we looked better than some of the people behind us...

We did try to take better Instagram photos though!
Tiffany is absolutely glowing! I can't wait to meet Elliott! 

Kevin then planned for us to come home to watch Daiquiris and Duck Dynasty because we couldn't find a place in walking Distance for Dessert, but Kevin had Dessert instead of Daiquiris and I loved my Duck Dynasty!

Perfect Date!

April 17, 2013


I am no expert, but I have had people ask me for relationship advice. I have been in a great relationship for a while now (over 7.5 years), and it just keeps growing stronger and stronger. One thing I think all girls need to know in their relationships is men need respect. 

We often joke with guys about what we think are little things. Like "wow you have got some chicken legs" or "were you born in a barn?" The thing is that we don't joke with other girls like that...do we think that guys are just tough enough to handle these kinds of remarks? They may act like they are and it probably will make them seem even more cocky because their defenses go up. But it tears them down. Build your man up, especially since we demand so much to be treated with love from all guys. We should step up and treat them with respect. Every guy has strengths and talents. If you can't find them, then maybe you want to reevaluate your relationship.

Here is what I respect about Kevin.

1. he makes me feel safe & protected
2. he works hard at his job
3. he works hard to help others
4. he is disciplined and responsible
5. he is a best friend to his friends
6. he puts family first and cares about them
7. he puts all of his attention on me when he's with me
8. he tries his best to communicate well with me
9. he would drop anything to encourage me, be with me, or talk to me if i need it
10. he encourages me even when i don't ask
11. he says I love you everyday more than once a day
12. he spends his money wisely
13. he is kind to everyone
14. he listens to me even when i talk about dumb things
15. he doesn't talk about women in a degrading way
16. he compliments me {and means it}
17. he trusts me
18. he is absolutely trustworthy
19. he cares about my family
20. he takes my problems & concerns seriously
21. he has self-control {something I lack sometimes}
22. he stands firm in what he believes
23. he is affectionate towards me
24. he keeps his word
25. he does not have a bad temper
26. he is loyal
27. he is not arrogant
28. he knows how to have fun the right way
29. he is not afraid to apologize
30. he is strong physically
31. he is smart
32. he will drive when i ask or even when i don't
33. he supports me
34. he is a man of integrity
35. he is honest with me
36. he is always trying to have a good attitude about everything
37. he forgives me
38. he takes care of me when I am sick (Thanks baby!)
39. he always makes time for me first
40. he loves me

 I hope Kevin and I continue to build our marriage on love and respect, and I know that it is my job to step up and respect him at all times. 

I encourage you to do this for your relationship. Show this to him too. See what happens... 

April 15, 2013

Tuesday Topics: Five Childhood Pics

A couple of years ago I scanned all of my childhood photos into the computer. I love having them all! At that same time I put all of my VCR recordings of home videos on my computer, but have yet to finish converting them to DVDs for my parents. My mom is dying for them. One day I will finish them...then I can start sharing some embarrassing little Lauren videos.

Back to the pictures. Wow. How to choose?!
I am just going to pick 5 random ones.

Ever wonder why I am not a great photographer?
Here is why!

My mom loved to put my sisters and I in some pretty crazy cool outfits. I think my mom has saved them!
Maybe one day when I have a girl....

I loved my pacifier! Shoot, I was an over achiever back then...most kids had one at a time. I handled two.

Girls just wanna have fun! And I sure did on my swing set that my dad built for us!
Hey Aunt Nora!

Oh this post made me tired.

I realized all the pictures I posted are me around the same age, but I have so many! Way more than 5!

Show me your childhood pics!!
The Austin Family Diary

April 10, 2013

Being Sick Stinks

I have been so sick. (I'll spare you the details)
I felt like hell.
It got to the point where I had to go to Urgent Care for dehydration.
I had to go get fluids and bloodwork.

Now I am getting better--still weak. I slept 12 hours last night making up for the 3 hours total the last 24 hours prior and finally will go back to work tomorrow.

On a happy note, today my couch gets delivered! I am excited!
Hope everyone's week is going better than mine!

April 9, 2013

Tuesday Topics: Six Favorite Things in Your House

I am loving my house and have yet to show you guys all that we have done, but I promise I will!

I am also so sorry to be posting this so late. I have caught some sort of bug and have been sick all yesterday and last night. Here is hoping today is better...

In no particular order, I love my:

Tomorrow my couch will be delivered! Soon our bedroom mirrored side tables will arrive. I love my rugs that I have gotten (still mulling over the living room one...long story) I love my bed, I love my chairs...I love it all! I still need to find a dining room table. I really really do. Anyone have any ideas? I would be eternally grateful...

Cabinets and Backsplash and Countertops
We really changed the look of the cabinets for cheap and it added so much! Then we got the granite and the backsplash just tied the whole thing together. Kevin even created his own under cabinet lighting system that looks fanny fan!

It is a lot of work, but I love that in my front and back yard I have trees in the desert! I have even started planting some new plants and making it ours!

My Doors
I love my door hardware. Taking it from brass to ORB really made the door look more white and crisp and higher end looking! Such a cheap and somewhat easy process!

Hear me out! My mom and I painted the house and I loved being able to pick my own color to make my space. The two guest bedrooms I didn't paint. One day I will most likely paint them. Paint can change a space and inspire you. Okay, love fest over.

Our House
I love that Kevin and I have our house. It is a roof over our head that we have made our own and I love having it as more then a house. It truly is a home.

The Austin Family Diary

April 8, 2013

My Not so Perfect Day

I wish I could share some exciting weekend update with you, but all I did was work and work and work. I did stop and party with my girl Alli. So much fun, but Sunday was a little hard.

Poor Kevin had to work on school stuff all weekend. Being in grad school and a full time job...I do not envy him!

Today is my day to try and tackle some laundry and hang out and catch up on blogs! Yay!

So on this post, I told you about my perfect me day! But sometimes life just doesn't work like that! But I think that's okay to be honest about what really goes on in your life. It can't be glamorous all the time. Don't get me wrong, I love hearing about every body and happy days, but indulge me...am I the only one with days like this...

It's about to get real.

I went to bed last night at 1:30 am after a long, tiring double at work...Kevin is getting ready for work now at 6am. Boo...didn't get to see him. I am too tired to wake up.

Force myself to wake up soon after he leaves so that I can get something done before I go right back to work. (this is assuming that I am not working overtime and having to be at work again at 6am. hehe)

Make myself my normal breakfast of eggs and toast. Leave the pan on the oven because I don't feel like cleaning it and am going to make the same breakfast again tomorrow morning.

Start on a huge pile of laundry that I have let sit and don't want to do. In a washer that just seems to be getting smaller and smaller and smaller.

Eat wayyyyy too much candy before I even realize what I have done. (so much for being healthy)
Realize that there is a pile of dirty dishes in the sink...need to empty the clean ones from the dishwasher and reload!

Realize my floors are dirty, counters a mess, nothing put away...but no time for that I have to get ready for work!

Shower, quick put on makeup, and don't dry my hair due to being lazy time.

Fold all the clothes that I can so they don't get wrinkled and so that I don't have to iron.
I don't get to putting them away.

Didn't go on a run again today...
Didn't have time to make Kevin dinner.
Or me lunch. (aka dinner)

Go to work...lots of admissions and busy stuff. Forgot to pack a lunch, so I scarf whatever my patient's get for dinner hoping that it is edible. 

Stuff my face and work through my 30 min lunch break. Shh don't tell my boss! I am trying to get out of here 30 min late, not an hour late!

Give report to a crabby night nurse.
Get home and see my tired husband who is ready to go to sleep. And piles of laundry waiting to be put away.

What does your non perfect day look like??
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