Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake

Need I say more?

This recipe comes from The Good Eatery in Washington D.C. If you’re ever in D.C. you absolutely must eat there. Tell them I sent you πŸ™‚ They won’t have a clue who I am but at least you’re honest.

Here’s what you’ll need to create this magic:

ingredients

– 2 cups milk
– 1 Tbsp sour cream
– 2 cups vanilla ice cream
– 1 bag jumbo marshmallows

As you can see in the pictures I used mini marshmallows & it turned out fine. I think it would be a little easier with the jumbo marshmallows so be more patient than me & buy yourself some jumbo marshmallows.

marshmallows

Broil the marshmallows until charred, about 3 minutes. It really enhances the flavor to have them burn just a little.

Let cool. Like I said, I’m impatient so I threw mine in the fridge for a few minutes.

Combine everything in a blender & mix for 5 minutes.

milkshake

I thought the mixing for five minutes sounded a little excessive but turns out it gives you a nice frothy marshmallow-y layer on top!

That’s life with Mr.Layland & Me!

Take-Your-Pick Date Night

The other night I was racing around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. I had to pick up Mr. Layland from work in 15 minutes but I had just come up with a date idea!

collage

So in about 10 minutes I curled my hair, threw on a dress, gathered up a few things for the date and somehow still managed to forget my phone. Of course. I ran back inside and grabbed it and headed for Scottsdale Quarter.

The idea behind this date is that you can make it what you want. I get coupons all the time but rarely use them. For this date I found a coupon for World Market and Pottery Barn. We also had gift cards for California Pizza Kitchen and Target leftover from wedding gifts. This date in it’s perfect state would be totally free πŸ™‚

When I picked up Mr. Layland he was surprised at my date night coupon stack and very excited for dinner. How can you not be excited? It’s California Pizza Kitchen!

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We pretty much have it down to a science here. We’ve gotten into the habit of ordering the same thing every time – Spinach & Artichoke Dip and a Hawaiian BBQ pizza.

After dinner we headed to Pottery Barn with a 15% off coupon. We almost got a cookie jar but…it wasn’t cute enough or sturdy enough. So we passed. It’s fun to check things out and get ideas for the future though.

I think that’s when it started – the obsession with smelling candles.

candle1

We smelled one or two at Pottery Barn but then we hit up Bath & Body Works and they just put out their fall collection. Leaves, Harvest Pumpkin, Cinnamon Pumpkin, Orchard Apples….best believe it was smelling good in there!

“Leaves” was my favorite πŸ™‚

As luck would have it they had candles at World Market too!

candle2

They all smelled like soap though 😦 I wish I could say we got some really exotic item at World Market but someone kept the wrong half of the coupon?!? Oh well, it was still fun to look at all the international candy.

Like I said, we had a Target gift card from our wedding and I was hoping that we would find one thing that we would want as a couple. The only thing we wanted they didn’t have. Yes, we ended up smelling every candle in Target but unfortunately didn’t find one we liked enough to buy.

So we got Frozen and Saving Mr.Banks instead.

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You might guess that we watched a movie when we got home but we didn’t! There was a HUGE thunderstorm so we stood outside for a while to check it out. There was a clap of lightening that was THE loudest I’ve ever heard in my life — and I’ve heard my fair share of storms. It was actually a little scary!

If you can plan this date around a stormy night it was pretty cool but I’m sure a movie would make a fine finish πŸ™‚

So that’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

Ring Holder

I love baking and making homemade pizza but both can be pretty messy. After I got engaged to Mr. Layland I quickly learned that the window sill above the sink is not the best place to keep my ring while I work my magic in the kitchen.

This DIY Ring Holder can be transferred from the kitchen to the bathroom or you can make one for both. It’s up to you!

DIYringholder

I like having mine in the bathroom sometimes too because I don’t like the idea of soap and face wash chemicals on my ring. I’m a little obsessed with cleaning my ring so I also use this holder to dry it a cleaning. It comes in really handy.

It’s really simple to make & you can make it according to your style so it’s exactly what you want! I got this small frame at Hobby Lobby for less than $5. I had the white lace and pin on hand. It took me about 10 minutes to put this together.

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Most frames come with a fake picture or a paper inside. Lay the lace (or patterned paper) over the insert and cut it to fit. Put the lace and insert back in the frame.

This won’t work if the frame has a glass cover. This one came with a plastic cover which was perfect. Use the pin to poke a hole in the upper middle section where you will eventually secure the pin. Remember your ring needs room to hang!

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Using wire cutters (or not your Mother’s best scissors) cut about 1/2 inch off the pin. Poke the pin into the hole and make sure it’s really secured in there. You might have to play with the angle a little bit to make sure your ring will stay on.

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There you have it! A super cute and safe place to keep your ring while you bake or wash your hands or take a shower! Sometimes Mr.Layland will put his ring on it too – but only when mine is already hanging there. It’s really precious ❀

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

The Classic Birthday Date

I woke up yesterday morning with Mr.Layland by my side, a new job, and a ton of excitement. “I’m turning 25 today! Wahoo!” Part of me thinks that’s really old…and then there’s another part of me that knows it’s really not.

Most birthdays are like any other but turning 25 is a bit of a milestone so I starting thinking of what I’ve accomplished so far…

I graduated college.
I served a mission.
I got married.
I just started a job that I love.
I’m currently writing for a magazine.
I started a blog that I love writing for!

Thinking about where I’m at was a really good “check in” exercise. Try it!

I made a skirt this weekend and decided what better day to wear it than my birthday?!

photo 1

This is my $3 skirt. I made it out of curtains. Seriously, no joke. I followed this tutorial for the gathering of the skirt and then made my own waistband and added in a zipper. I was really pleased with how it turned out. It’s really light so it’s perfect for Arizona.

Day 2 at my new job was a little crazy but really enjoyable. The office is in the same location where Mr.Layland works so we drove together and he opened the office door for me and kissed me goodbye ❀

I could really get used to this!

On Monday I started working as the Administrative Assistant at I-ology. When I walked in on my first day there was a bowl full of treats on my desk! I can already tell I’m going to love working here. The current assistant is training me this week so we went to run errands togetherΒ  in the afternoon and I got to pick out my own birthday treat.

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Sorry for the lame picture, I didn’t want to ask someone to take my picture and become the new office dork. Don’t you love the neon pink writing?! Pretty sure I turned 5 not 25.

At the end of the day I met up with Mr. Layland downstairs and we headed off to try a new place for dinner. It’s called Fired Pie. Once upon a time it was a place called Pellini where they served noodles in a tortilla. For obvious reasons they didn’t last long.

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The crust was thin, the toppings were delicious and that guy sure knew how to drizzle on the right amount of sauce! We had the Hawaiian BBQ and the Chicken Alfredo. Both were good but the BBQ was my favorite because it reminded me of CPK pizza.

I didn’t take pictures during dinner because I’m trying to better about “being there” during dates. Mr. Layland took me to lunch on Monday as a “Happy First Day at Work” celebration but also to tell me that he was offered a new job! It was the best early birthday present ever!

We stopped in at Barnes & Noble because it’s one of my favorite places πŸ™‚ and that’s when my BROTHER called me! It was so nice to just talk and catch up for a little. I got to tell him about my new job and about the offer that Mr. Layland got and it felt so good to realize how nicely things are panning out.

And right when you think things couldn’t get better…

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There were balloons when I got home! The whole family was there and we had (another) ice cream cake. Mr.Layland wanted to get me a nail light you use with gel nail polish but the mother I nannied for got me one as a going away present. Oops! I guess I’m really predictable this year.

Some of you might be anticipating an epic “Mr. Layland Date” but you’ll just have to wait. When the sun sets it’s still a thousand degrees outside so we’re going to save it for when it cools off a bit. He got me a voucher for horseback riding!!!! I can’t wait!

I got to do everything I ever wanted to on my 25th birthday ❀

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

Not Your Mother’s Zipper Pouch

I started sewing with my mother when I was a teenager but it’s been a while since I’ve taken on a project. In the middle of college what non-fashion-design student has time to sew? Or a sewing machine, for that matter.

The woman I nanny for has been sewing up a storm in order to open her Etsy shop, Rykie B’s. It’s actually thanks to her that I had the guts to try anything with a zipper!

pouch

This is the very first zipper I’ve ever done. I’ve never attempted it because it looks so complicated. If I can do it – you can too! Trust me!

I got the in-person tutorial the other morning at work because Tara has been making these adorable wet bags. Her fabric is the cutest and they’re super functional.

In addition to getting her to show me the ropes I also followed this online tutorial by Reasons to Skip the Housework. I’m glad I did because I almost had an inside-out zipper pouch! Measure twice, cut once — and always double check the picture before you sew!

pouch2

When I bought this fabric it was on clearance at Hobby Lobby and I had no idea what I was going to do with it. That was six months ago and I’m really glad I hung onto it!

One thing the tutorial doesn’t exactly clarify is that the top stitch needs to go through both the lining and the outer fabric. The zipper is already sewn in at that point but the top stitch helps to secure the lining down so it doesn’t get caught in the zipper.

The next project I want to try is an adaption on this — a laptop case. Stay tuned!

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

How to Kill A Tomato

About a month ago I posted about my garden in The Gardening Life.

All I have is a cluster of succulents and one tomato. No, my garden isn’t huge or really even a garden but I’m new to Arizona gardening so I thought I should start small.

Succulents do great in Arizona and mine are hanging in there just fine. I mean come on, you water them once a week – even I can’t kill that. Apparently what I can kill is my one little tomato.

One month ago this is what my tomato looked like…

My beautiful green little tomato just trucking right along! Gorgeous, huh?

When it started turning orange and then red I got so excited. I was so proud! It was my a baby taking his first steps. It was big – I had managed not to kill it!

Fast forward to today and here is what it looks like…

tomato1

Red? Yes. Bigger? Yes. Plump and juicy and ready to eat? Not so much.

So how do you kill a tomato? Easy.

1 – Don’t water it every day.

2 – Let it dry out in the Arizona heat.

3 – Go ahead and let the little buggies eat it.

I learned just last night that tomatoes can be sort of finicky so you should water them at about the same time everyday. I’ll admit that I didn’t even water my tomato every day – let alone at the same. Maybe I’m not cut out for an Arizona garden.

In North Carolina I felt like if you missed a day of watering it was alright because it took about that long for the soil to dry out anyways. Here it takes about half that time and I’m sure my tomato hates me for it.

Despite my sad little garden experience, I plan on trying again next year! Maybe before the summer sets in. Any tips would be appreciated!

That’s life with Mr.Layland & Me!

Snot Jeans, Social Media &The Honest Truth About Marriage

At 9 o’clock this morning I already had snot on my jeans.

I work as a full-time nanny and I hadn’t been around the kids for an hour before I had somebody else’s bodily fluids on my clothes. Awesome.

ryker1

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Don’t get me wrong, I love my job but kids aren’t always as cute as they are on Facebook. They cry and whine and get sick and that leaves you with absolutely no patience and a heck of a lot of snot.

To the mothers out there – kudos. Times a thousand. You’re doing the impossible.

In all of my non-snot-jeans free time, I’ve been thinking about two things: marriage & social media.

Technology seriously is amazing and makes it easier to keep in touch with family, friends, old roommates & classmates. In all the excitement of sharing pictures on Facebook and Instagram I think this idea of sharing has put a twist on marriage that is new to this generation.

Dates are interrupted to take a quick photo which is immediately posted to the cyber wall of “here’s the latest exciting thing I’m doing in my life”.

I know, because we do it too.

picturetaking

I never started this blog with the intention of pausing dates for pictures or getting stressed when Mr.Layland gets called into work because I have to find something new to write about instead of the fact that he’ll be gone. Sorry about that, honey.

I hope that these posts, especially about our dates, are helpful and give y’all some ideas to adopt in your own dating life. The dates we go on ARE fun and we have a great time together but other nights I’m in bed by 9:30!

Sometimes social media gives off this vibe that couples are only ever having fun and doing amazing things and you start to think, “they’re always so happy…why aren’t we that happy?”.

Don’t worry, every couple has issues and “days” and challenges. We just don’t usually post about those things. Marriage is less about the thrilling Facebook-worthy dates and more about that half a brownie your spouse brought home for you.

brownie

Marriage is more about those inside jokes that aren’t funny to anyone else but keep you close as a couple and make you laugh every time.

joke

Marriage is about feeling comfortable enough to make silly faces and laugh together, especially when you’re not feeling like sunshine and rainbows.

sillypics

And finally, marriage is about those sweet little texts you get during the day. The small reminders that your loved one is thinking of you and despite your insanity – is still planning on doing things with you in public.

sugarbowl

So next time you see a post about how fantastic someone else’s life is and wonder where you and your snot covered jeans went wrong — just remember your own brownies and text messages and inside jokes ❀

That’s life with Mr.Layland & Me!

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All Day Date

Every once in a blue moon I get the whole day with Mr. Layland. It only happens that often because we both work so much. Who decided that?

One day last week we both had work off so we planned to make the best of it. We each wrote down ideas for meals and activities and put those strips of paper into mason jars.

We pulled out three meals and then as many activities as we had time for. The first meal we chose was P.F. Chang’s…for breakfast. At that point we decided we could each replace one meal or activity if we would rather do something else. Needless to say, we didn’t have P.F. Chang’s for breakfast.

Before we got ready for the day we went for a swim! I love having a pool in the backyard – it’s a necessity in Arizona. Hands down.

swimming

The first place we went was a little place we like to call True Food. Everyone else calls it that too – we’re not special or anything. It’s a healthy, organic, “would you like some kale with that?” kind of place. It’s really good food but I wasn’t feeling the kale.

true food

We actually got the same thing: the Turkey Burger! Mr. Layland loved it and ate all the sweet potato hash I shared with him πŸ˜‰ I have to say I love the flaxseed bun they make. It’s delicious!

lunch

I’ve also tried the Bison Burger and the BLT that’s made with tempeh and not bacon. My feedback? Well, it’s not bacon so…just know that if you’re looking for a real BLT this is not the place.

Next up: IKEA.

Neither of us had been before so we were in furniture heaven. We walked through the entire store (because you have to) and I was really impressed with the glass jars they have for baking supplies. I’m definitely ordering a few of those.

As we drove around we checked another thing off the list. Karaoke!

karaoke

One of our favorite things to do is sing in the car. At the top of our lungs. Who doesn’t love that?! Our repertoire includes songs from Newsies, Ke$ha…and pretty much everything on the radio. We’re thinking about going pro.

It’s never a date with Mr.Layland unless some shopping is involved πŸ™‚ We don’t have to buy anything but we have to check out the usuals — GAP and Banana Republic. He’s more of a GAP lover and I’m all about BR. They just get me.

We hit up the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and I have to say this room was the coolest thing there and about the only art I understood.

museum

We looked at everything and had puzzled looks about 95% of the time.

Amazingly, we both wrote down car wash! Growing up we never went to the car wash so now I get excited like a four-year-old at Christmas when I get to take my car through the wash.

carwash

With a squeaky clean car we headed home, after a long and wonderful day together. It was then we realized that we had scheduled a meeting with some people from church and had totally forgotten about it! So we ran to the store, grabbed a healthy Newman’s Own frozen pizza and dashed home to tidy up.

We had our meeting, ate our pizza and ended the perfect day with a show!

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

Fairytale Tutu

 

Before you judge, I didn’t make this tutu for me πŸ™‚

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When I first moved to Arizona I started nannying a little girl named Olive. She had just started walking and was the cutest little toddler with red hair and blue eyes.

olive

She was full of smiles and everywhere we went people would comment on her hair. I have to say I miss that! It’s been four months since she started school and I’m hoping she’s still really into tutus πŸ™‚

Last night my mother-in-law offered up this pink and white tulle and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I had seen tutorials on Pinterest for tutus and figured it wouldn’t be too hard.

fullTutu

It took me all of twenty minutes!

I added in strips of shimmery pink and five strips of white lace to make it a little different than the typical all-tulle tutu.The waistband is a long strip of the white lace with knots at the end so it won’t fray. The tulle stays on the lace really well so it should last a while!

That’s life with Mr.Layland & Me!

The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted

No, I didn’t write this. I wish I had, it’s a genius book!

Have you ever heard of The 5 Love Languages? Congrats, if you have! If you haven’t — go buy a copy or download the e-book or check it out of the library because understanding the difference between each love language makes loving your spouse or significant other a lot easier.

Not that they’re hard to love ❀ It just helps you understand HOW they feel most loved.

It’s a game changer. I promise.

book

This book is it’s companion piece directed at married couples. And so far it’s a great “together” book. Each chapter concludes with a “Your Turn” section where it has you either answer questions or write down thoughts as a couple. If you only have thirty minutes for a date, why not read a chapter?

I always thought these books were for couples who had issues but I’m finding that that’s not the case! The “Your Turn” section has helped us discuss topics and address issues that haven’t even come up yet. By reading the chapters together we’re learning about marriage, developing our relationship and coming closer to God all at once.

Dr. Chapman lives in North Carolina (I’m not bias at all :)) and approaches marriage counseling from a Christian standpoint. His analogies and examples sometimes involve scripture but often times are based on the experiences of couples he has met with before.

I love learning about marriage with Mr. Layland at my side. Hopefully, you and your spouse will enjoy this book as much as we have!

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!