October 30, 2013

Halloween Decorations

I don't have much, but what I do I love.
Hopefully in the wake of sales Friday there will be more things added to my collection!

The front door

Lights on the tree


Cute pumpkin candle holders

With fresh flowers of course!

Our weather has also been hot as of late. Anywhere between 85-95 lately. Fall are you coming to the desert anytime soon?!

October 29, 2013

I'm Bringing Blogging Back!

Blogging has been heaven sent for me. During my time blogging thus far, I have spent so much time thinking about what what I am doing with all the changes in my life. Every piece of the puzzle we call life, blogging helped me ensure that I was authentically me because I crafted it around my vision and core. Lately I want to ensure I don't lose focus of my blogging.
Joy! via Julia Kostreva.
I’m ensuring right now that it doesn't happen and enjoying life at the same time. It feels natural and right!
Maybe you are in a similar spot in your blog, business, or life and you completely overhauled one. It can be such a long process that we forget to go back and smile and settle in how you feel.
Revisiting a vision gives us clarity and helps us prioritize what we want to do and how best to do to it to make sure it’s authentic. For me personally, it keeps me reigned in when I get distracted by a million and one ideas that don’t really fit my goals or mission. Like I said, things can get busy. They can also get noisy. We can be become inundated with other people and think we need to be just a little more like them.
Simply Do What You Can Do...
I want everything I blog about, to be me. It motivates me and keeps me passionate. It helps me connect better to y’all because you know what I’m about and honestly, it’s also keeps me in my little happy place doing only what is important to me! :)
Get excited y’all!! So much goodness in store!! 

October 28, 2013

You Read my Blog for the Toilets, Right?

Yep, you have been warned, today I am subjecting you to pictures of toilets!

When we got this house from a very nice older lady, I really wondered what happened in terms of the toilets. They were one of the first things we replaced. Suffice it to say these toilets looked like they had seen a frat house in their lifetime.

Yeah gross. Anyway so first off you turn off the water and then start flushing the toilet to get the water out. You will never get all the water out but you can use a cup and a sponge to soak up the rest.

And here is: a quick dirty guide to taking out a toilet sans pictures because Lauren thought she took more pictures.

Prepare for even more water when you unhook the supply line. This will never be a completely dry process no matter how many times you flush.
Then you can unscrew the tank.
And then unscrew the bowl. It helps to kind of rock it when you are trying to remove that big sucker.
Then you can take off the wax ring. Scrape it off and hope that there isn't a lot of rust to remove (I heard coke works well with removing that)
Oh and then put the new toilet in. Ours came with a wax ring and everything so it was a pretty easy install.

Do this twice and we now have pretty pretty toilets.

Go Bucks in the master bathroom!

The guest bathroom.

I am usually not a brand snob. By that I mean I love brands, but not all my makeup has to be Lancome or all my purses LV or shirts J. Crew....you get the idea.

But my toilets....they have to be Kohler!
And the lids are self closing.
Very happy Lauren right here!!

October 24, 2013

Honey Mango Shrimp

I have recently started to like shrimp. Previously seafood of any kind was not something I ate.
Now I eat shrimp and canned tuna.
I think they are both very yummy!

I don't do shrimp unless it is in some sort of sauce or coating though.
And I do shrimp a lot more often when it is an easy meal to make on those nights where cooking a meal is the last thing on my mind..

Huge HUGE hit with Kevin as well!

I serve mine over ramen noodles since I don't like rice and Kevin's portion over rice.

Honey Mango Shrimp

2tsp of EVOO/Canola Oil/Vegetable oil (your choice)
1 lb of shrimp, pealed and deveined
1/2 onion, chopped
1 mango, peeled and chopped
1 tsp of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of honey
Your rice or ramen :-)

Heat a large skillet adding oil. Toss in the shrimp, onions, mango, and garlic powder.
Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the soy sauce and honey.
Stir for another 4-5 minutes until the shrimp is cooked and sauce is thickened.

I have never had leftovers so I couldn't tell you how it tastes rewarmed, but I am sure you will find the same problem. Serves 2-3 people.

October 23, 2013

The Ceremony

I am going to take this time to talk about my wedding ceremony. I wrote the ceremony on my own. Which made it super special. 

The song that the wedding party walked down the aisle to:

Kevin and his mom

Chris and Lauren

Jason and Ellie

Travys and Tess

Damon and Caraline

I walked down the aisle to Pachelbel's Canon in D

All the way down the world's longest aisle to this guy here.

So glad to have my dad here with me on that day.

We had a greeting, declaration of intention and then the readings.

The two readings were:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
The Hand Blessing
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and as in today, tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.  May these hands be blessed this day.  May they always hold each other.  May they have the strength to hang on during the storms of stress.  May they remain tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their wondrous love.  May they build a relationship founded in love, and rich in caring.  May these hands be a healer, protector, shelter and a guide for each other.

Then there was the sermon, our vows, giving of the rings, acclamation, and introduction!

Back down that aisle as husband and wife!

Oh and did I mention that there was some wind?!

But I told that wind, no way are you ruining my day and we were all okay!

Your welcome for posting blooper shots that people act like they don't have. :-)

October 21, 2013

Suggestions for Success

Remember bookmarks?
Before the advent of Pinterest I bookmarked anything I found interesting....
The other night I was going through what felt like a million bookmarks.
I honestly wonder what I was thinking for most of it.

And truth be told I probably only got through about 10% of my unorganized bookmarks list.

One thing I found was this picture:

I remember bookmarking this. I read and really loved all the points on this list.

This time around when I saw it, I realized the first one was the most true.
Marrying the right person has made it possible for me to be the best at all other items on this list.

Just a little something to think about today...

October 16, 2013

My Other Blog

I have a real treat for you guys! Samantha is taking over my blog for the day! Her and I are pretty much two peas in a pod and one day I am determined we will sit in our sweatpants, watch Gilmore Girls, and drink some great wines together! She seriously has so much fun all the time and is a daily blog read for me. I also love stalking her on Instagram and Twitter


Helloooo Life Love Lauren readers! My name is Samantha, I blog over at Life Style Love, and I am so excited to be guest posting on Lauren's blog today! I love reading Lauren's blog for many reasons - she write about marriage, cleaning, food, trips, friends + family, and life in general. But the biggest reason I love her blog is because when I'm reading I sometimes feel like it must be me writing on the other end, because I can completely relate to what she's saying. So I thought today I'd write about a few ways that Lauren and I are similar. Without further ado, let's get down to it...

1. We both love our husbands, who are our high school sweethearts, and have given them their debut in blogland at least once. Like Lauren, when I wrote about my husband here I felt a little weird since he hasn't technically chosen to be a part of cyberworld. But nevertheless, when they're "your person" I don't think you can help yourself. Lauren's hubby and my hubby:


2. Gilmore Girls. I immediately connect with someone right away if they share the same love for Lorelai and Rory as I do. Any other GG Superfans out there?

3. We both have written about how we want to live a healthier, more fit lifestyle. As I'm writing this, my legs are tight from running this morning for the first time since July! My goodness, that's horrible. This one time though, I ran in a marathon-relay. I'm the one on the left that looks bald.

4. We both are newlyweds and truly value the time we get to spend with our husbands and super cool family. That's how I would choose to spend the majority of my free time. Here are Parker and I just over 3 years when we said "I do" on September 24th, 2010.


5. We both have talked about how we are not the perfectly put-together, name-brand fashion bloggers - but we at least give an outfit post or two a chance!


I love reading blogs like Lauren's that have so much variety and I enjoy writing about whatever I'm thinking about or inspired by on a certain day. Stop by my blog sometime and say hi! I'd love to get to know you better, enjoy a glass of wine over g-chat, or talk about anything!
 photo Signature_zpsef5c7e0b.png


See told you? Pretty much the most awesome girl out there! Go show some love on her blog and you will not be disappointed!! 

October 15, 2013

Why is This not Invented yet?

Have you guys seen that Samsung Galaxy commercial about the watch that can connect to your phone and such?

It got me thinking about a lot of other things that I think should have already been in my possession and invented...

Tangle Free Necklaces
Any way you put your necklaces in your pocket or bag, they will always come out tangled as if an expert on boating knots secretly sneaked into your bag and tied them up in the most complicated way possible. There is really no solution I have figured yet. This problem is so ubiquitous that I am surprised that it’s still one of the things that should have been invented by now.

Cure for Acne
I suffered some severe acne as a teen and had to go on some serious meds, but now I have some occasional bumps here and there. I always have prayed for a cure. That was years ago and there is still no such luck! Hopefully in a couple of years somebody comes up with a magical solution to the one of the most hated skin condition.

Cell Phone Service Everywhere
Just imagine how much easier it would be when you are on a vacation with your family somewhere in the forest, you’ll feel safer knowing that you can always make a call. Just for practicality reasons widespread cell service should have been invented by now.

Nail Polish That Doesn't Chip
The only way to make sure that your nail polish goes without chipping for days is to get your nails done at a salon with shallac, but that can get pricey, which is why someone should invent a nail polish brand that never chips. Hopefully this invention is in the near future and our nail suffering will soon be over.

A Folder Machine
There is a washing machine and a dryer, but I am still waiting for the day companies will have advertisements for a folding machine. How easy and less time consuming would laundry be if we had that invention right now? You never know, it might even make the whole process more enjoyable.

Hilarious Ecards | funny someecards, bacon wrapped media (1) | Bacon Wrapped Media

Then an ironing machine can be next!

What are some things you wish were already invented?

October 14, 2013

After you are Married...

There are so many things that happened after I got married that were better than I could even imagine. There were also things I imagined that would happen that just....didn't happen.


You don't become rich.
Another income? A tax break for filing jointly?! Awesome! But you also have a second person to think about. Plus now that you are married you start thinking about expensive things to come....house, pets, children...

You will not transform into Martha Stewart.
This one is kind of a bummer.  I thought that surely once I got married, I would magically be able to cook and clean so flawlessly.
My house is still not decorated/even totally unpacked.
When I clean, you can’t even tell the next day.
I have ruined a lot of dinners.
But you know what? I'm learning.

You are still your own person.
I am still me.  I still want the same things I did before I walked down the aisle.  While we grow hugely as a couple, we still grow with our own dreams and compromise in order to support each other everyday.

The worst is when you get lazy.
I told myself I would NEVER let this happen. But it did. I got lazy with my weight. 
I am currently trying to get back on track with this one because I think it stinks to have to worry about this so young. But no man wants to marry a women who is going to let herself go afterwards. 
My body is my temple and not only him but I deserve to be healthy and happy with it.
more art here
I wish it was that easy...
and note no matter what, Kevin always tells me I am beautiful. He says it to me at least twice a day.

But overall...
I love being married.  I love eating dinner with my best friend every night. (unless I am working). I love laughing with him over Pizza Hut pizza (because I messed up the dinner that I tried making). I love every little thing about being married!

October 11, 2013

Not Here Today

I am so glad it is Friday! Weekend here I come!!

I am over at Lisa's blog today participating in her 31 days of Kindness.


Go visit me over there today and give her a big congrats!!

October 10, 2013

While I was Working: The Story of the Floors

Laying flooring takes some serious time and devotion.
But so worth it when it is down!!

We decided to go with pre-finished birch floors. The price was right and gave us that dark high end look we wanted. We put this flooring in the living room and hallway entering into our bedroom, and the master bedroom itself. Go {here} for how I keep them nice and clean and my sanity intact! :-)

This is an engineered wood, floating floor. We had to do this since our sub-floor was a concrete slab. Kevin decided to put in the work and buy his own tools to install them himself.

Most of these tools were saws. I never knew how many saws there were in this world...

Oh and did I mention Kevin did this little project over Christmas while I was working the holidays. Yep this could have been our Christmas card..
See!! Another saw!!

I wish they would just go down like this so easy, but here goes the process:

We placed the quarter inch spacers against the wall and then the 3/4" spacers against the tile. We had the bigger spacers against the tile because we needed to use transitions (a whole post on that later...)

Then Kevin placed the moisture barrier and underlayment. This is a padding for the floor and acts as a noise reducer. The moisture barrier keeps the moisture from the concrete from seeping up to the wood.

Then start placing the wood!  Kevin started in the corner of the hallway and started laying end-to-end, measuring the length of the last plank, chopping it to size (with a miter saw), and continuing across the room.  He did three boards across at a time, laying them out first to make sure there was a good mix of where the boards joined together. I am glad he was there to do the math. If it was me we would be sunk.

We periodically taped the boards together, which is recommended. This helps ensure that there is no slipping or shifting during the install. If there are two of you working on this project, one person might grab boards, run a bead of glue along the end grove (seen above), and hand them to the other person who’s clicking them in and hammering them into place. The person on glue duty can also toss down some tape as you go. Then switch jobs every once and a while to ensure that one person isn't getting too sore/tired.

Oh yeah wait. Kevin did it all himself while I was working. Yeah he was really sore and tired...

The finished dusty final product!!

The process was time consuming, even more so because Kevin tackled it himself. To do our living room, hall to the master bedroom, and master bedroom took about three 10 hour days.

The baseboards gave us a lot of trouble. We had hoped we didn't have to remove the baseboards, but realized our small 3 inch baseboards behind the floor with quarter round would look weird. Instead, we decided to pry up all of the baseboards (somewhat tedious) and left the quarter inch expansion gap. Then we re-installed the baseboards which were thick enough (thankfully) to cover the expansion gap.

Ya so like I said we did these over Christmas...we don't rush our projects here and I can tell you that we still haven't re-cauled our baseboards against the wall or touched them up with paint (taking them off and reinstalling them can bang em up a bit). I need to do that here soon.

So much better than that carpet we pulled out {here}

Other notes, thankfully living in AZ during this process, we were able to keep our mess confined to the covered patio keeping our work area clean. Worked out well for us.

The door jams: Kevin used a jam saw (also known as an undercut saw). The door jam goes directly down to the concrete so you had to cut it so the wood could run seamlessly under it. To know how much to cut, Kevin used a scrap piece of wood and a scrap piece of underlayment as a guide.

Thankfully it was a first floor remodel so lugging up big boxes of wood was not an issue.

And that is that!!

October 9, 2013

Strengths and Weaknesses

So right now I have an interesting thing weighing on my mind. It is about possible changing positions within my current company. But that aside it got me thinking about interviewing and how I am so glad I wouldn't have to do that again.

I hate interviewing. I never know how to answer all those standard questions.

How do you handle stress and pressure?
I go home and watch TV, run, eat chocolate, and drink?

What are your salary expectations?
Uhhh as much as I can get...

Describe a typical work week.
Sleep, eat, work, eat, work, watch tv, drink, eat, and start all over again for five days.

Funny Workplace Ecard: The morning is a success if I make it to lunch without eating my lunch.

What are your strengths?
Blogging. Sleeping, Pinning things on Pinterest.

What are your weaknesses?
Reese's cups, more Reese's cups, and happy hour.

Name the time you overcame a weakness.
This morning when I didn't eat the whole bag of Reese's cups...

See why I would need a lot of luck on an interview?
How do you make it through an interview?

October 8, 2013

I Felt Fall for a Weekend...

Kevin and I finally took a trip back to our families in New Mexico.
It was so nice!

Mainly updates on Instagram since I forgot my camera.

I thankfully got to hang with some girlfriends but we were so into seeing each other for a couple of hours that I completely forgot to get a picture of us!

Then I got to go to the local corn maze and pumpkin farm that our family friend's own and where my mom works.

Perfect weather for a pumpkin picking day!

Unfortunately I had a funeral to go to. One of my dear nursing school friends had a 7 year old son who died of cancer. My thoughts and prayers are with them and once again let me just say that CANCER SUCKS!!

Then I went out to my parent's house.
We said hi to our cows...

I think I got to see my sister all of an hour...

All much too short! We watched the Broncos get another W in the win column with Kevin's family and came home!

Oh but not before my dad took a picture with us...

or two...very snazzy dad!

What did everyone do this weekend?

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