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.


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 😉 I have to say I love the flaxseed bun they make. It’s delicious!


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!


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 🙂 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.


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.


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 🙂


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.


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 🙂

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.


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.


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!

Sweet Tooth Snack

This post is short & sweet. Really sweet.

I have the worst sweet tooth known to man which usually means I make way too many treats. Around 2 or 3 every day I start craving either something really cold or something fresh & sweet. This snack does both!

Granted a swig of cold Gatorade would do the same thing but this snack so much better. Hands down. No competition.

Greek yogurt is delicious and contrary to what one woman tried to tell me in the dairy aisle (Hi, I’m just trying to shop, thanks) it doesn’t have a high fat content. One serving of Oikos vanilla yogurt is 1 cup. It has 0 fat and 17 grams of protein! I’m not suggesting you eat the entire container on your own because it does have 27 grams of sugar per serving. Yikes.

Whoever decided that a serving size is 1 cup was right on – I’ve tried just eating 1/2 cup. It’s like trying to eat one Oreo or one Pringle. It just doesn’t work.

I love adding fresh raspberries or blueberries or cutting up a few strawberries to throw on top. It’s beautiful and delicious!

That’s life with Mr. Layland &  Me!

4th of July Pie

There’s nothing quite like a good pie to celebrate a holiday.

It’s been a thousand degrees lately and it’s made me wish it was Thanksgiving already so I can wear sweaters and scarfs and not want to die. Sadly, it’s July and while it’s not typically a time for pies I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to make the 4th of July a pie holiday!


My older brother went through a phase where he would make a pie every Sunday. He was in his mid teens and he was surprisingly good at making a crust! When I started making my crust today I kept telling myself, “Jeffrey made a crust when he was 16. YOU can make a crust too! Just relax.”

And I did! It didn’t fall apart or crumble and my stars even look pretty good!

The idea comes from the blog Casey Leigh but I didn’t use her exact recipe. I didn’t have butter (what!?) so I used a basic shortening recipe instead. Sorry, Mom for not using yours – my computer was all the way downstairs 🙂


Mix the salt and flour in a bowl and then cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until crumbly. Mix in the water 1 tablespoon at a time. Use a fork to toss the dough after each tablespoon. Divide the dough in 2 balls and roll the first out – just larger than the inverted pie tin. Gently fold the crust in fourths and place it in the tin. Unfold it and press it into the tin and crimp the edges.


At this point I went back to the directions by Casey Leigh.  I folded up some aluminum foil to separate the blueberries and cherries. Once I had the filling in the crust I took the foil out to add the stars and stripes!


I have never been happier that I own kitchen shears. I used them to cut the foil, trim the crust, and cut out the stars. I can’t freehand stars to save my life so I used my tablespoon to cut out a circle of dough then traced a 5-line star with my knife. I followed the outline with my kitchen shears and my stars turned out pretty well!

Bake for 35 min at 400 degrees. Cover the edge of the crust with tin foil. After 35 minutes uncover the crust and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Cool before serving!

Happy 4th!!!

That’s life with Mr.Layland & Me!


Pool Drive-In

Once again, Mr. Layland produced a spectacular date!

Monday night he said he had a surprise date planned for Tuesday which I thought was interesting since he wasn’t scheduled to get out of work until 10 p.m. Right then he said he couldn’t wait to tell me and let me know he was actually going to get off at 6 p.m.!

Mr. Layland had an unusual dinner set up for us.

Chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cream soda & fruit tarts for dessert. Delicious obviously but I couldn’t figure out the theme.

We took the food out to the backyard. Yes, the backyard!

Here’s what we rigged up…

Photo: Movie night in the pool! #allMrLayland #imarriedagenius #HPmarathon #datenight #detailscomingsoon

The dinner was meant to be like the feast they have in Harry Potter in the Great Hall!

So we ate dinner & swam around while watching Harry Potter! It was the coolest date ever!

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!