Reupholstering 101

I found this chair just down the street on the sidewalk and I’m still praying that I didn’t accidentally mess up some kid’s plan to set up a lemonade stand.

This post is called Reupholstering 101 because I’ve never reupholstered something in my life and this project was really easy. The chair was in pretty good condition – a few marks on the seat but the wood was clean and sturdy. So I took it home.

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Once I got it home I let it sit in the kitchen for a few weeks. That step is unnecessary. Finally the day came and I had enough time and energy to go pick out fabric at JoAnn’s! I chose this fabric because the circle in the print is a great size to create a focal point on the chair and the color combination has great contrast. It’s not too crazy.

I unscrewed the seat from the chair and spray painted it outside. Even though I was painting it on gravel and weeds I still put newspaper down.

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If you’re spray painting on anything really – you’ll want to cover the surface with newspaper or a tarp or something so you don’t end up with paint on your mother’s deck. That would be bad. Really bad. So be smart and put a covering down!

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I have the hardest time being patient with spray paint. I know you’re supposed to do light strokes, back and forth. But for Pete’s sake that takes a long time! I’ll admit I got a little impatient towards the end and did a few long strokes. Then I ran out of paint. Luckily, my mother-in-law had three other cans of black spray paint so I was back in business pretty quickly and finished painting!

Back inside I started on the seat cushion. I lined up the pattern right in the middle and pinned the edges in place. This helped the fabric stay centered while I figured out how best to proceed.

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Ideally you would use a staple gun with staples meant for a staple gun. Like I said, I get impatient. I used a stapler.

Don’t judge. I’m not trying to sell this chair so I don’t need to impress anyone with professional grade staples. However, if you live in the Phoenix valley and you want to make an offer on it – be my guest!

When it comes to the corners pull the fabric tight in little sections, overlapping them and trying to avoid puckering.

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Staple all the way around the seat cover making sure to pull the fabric taut. Cut away the excess fabric & voila!

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There you have it, a brand new seat cover. Because the old cover was in pretty good shape I left it on there and double covered the seat with this new fabric. My Mom suggested it, saying it would help the chair wear better. Less work? Sounds good to me!

On my first round of painting the chair I had missed a few nooks and crannies so I went back through and did some touch-up painting. Unfortunately that meant more waiting. I think it was worth it though. After a few hours I attached the new seat back onto the chair and there you have it!

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I was so pleased with how it turned out! It was a great project to learn how to reupholster furniture because all I needed to cover was the seat. I would highly recommend starting with something like this – simple and quick.

If y’all have any suggestions or tips for bigger reupholstering projects I’d love to hear them! I’m always open to new ideas and suggestions!

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

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As-You-Go Date

Who doesn’t love presents!?! I came up with this idea because Mr. Layland’s birthday was last week and I was determined to do lots of fun things to celebrate the day!

I started off my posting his baby picture on Instagram. Not that that’s a requirement of this date but he was so darn cute as a baby I couldn’t help myself!

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Isn’t he precious? I think it’s a fun idea – posting your spouse’s baby picture on their birthday – it shows more about their life than just a current picture. I posted that at midnight on the 14th to kick off the birthday festivities!

I got off work at 1 on Thursday and raced home to get ready. Our first stop?

The Studio Movie Grill.

We got in the car and Mr.Layland was dying to know where we were going first so I asked him to check the passenger flip-down mirror and out fell tickets to the movie!

I love chic flics as much as the next girl and luckily I married a man who will watch a few of them with me. Mr. Layland likes Legally Blonde and as luck would have it they were playing it last week for $2! Now, we have the movie so we could have just watched it at home but it was really fun to see it on the big screen. Not to mention we had the whole theater to ourselves 🙂

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When we got back to the car I gave Mr.Layland his next present – a baseball cap. When we went to North Carolina for my brother’s wedding my Dad let Mr. Layland borrow this black hat with a  white Nike swoosh on it. He loved it! So that’s the one I tracked down for him. I told him he would need it for the next activity.

When we got to the park I popped the trunk and asked Mr.Layland to go check out his next present.

A croquet set!

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I talked him out of buying it a few weeks ago because it was something I had in mind to buy him for his birthday. We pulled it out, put it together and went to town! A 2-player game of croquet is ridiculously fast – especially when you’re both older than seven.

Luckily, the weather wasn’t too hot that day and we found some trees to play under!

I let him win 😉

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Okay, not really. He let me go first and he still won. In my defense we weren’t playing by Hurst rules! If we had been I’m pretty sure I could have smoked him.

We both grew up with our families playing croquet but we have slightly different rules. Little did we know there are REAL rules for croquet – these aren’t just made up things! We also learned there’s an actual way to set up the wickets!?

I’m thinking we’re going to become pros. Real quick.

The weather wasn’t bad but it was still really hot. Our next stop was The Sugar Bowl in old town Scottsdale. Mr. Layland got a vanilla shake and I got a pineapple shake hoping it would be like a Dole Whip from Disneyland.

It wasn’t. It was still yummy though!

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We hung out there for a little while, debating whether or not the decorations were original or just old. It was a cute place – VERY pink. It definitely has an old timey feel with vintage stained glass and old cartoons around featuring The Sugar Bowl.

We were about 20 minutes from home so I gave Mr.Layland his next gift — an iTrip Transmitter. It hooks up to your car and allows you to play music from your phone through your radio! My parents got it for him. The whole way home Mr.Layland tried to figure it out but my radio doesn’t get the best reception so after lots of static we decided to try it again later.

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At this point all we had left was dinner but neither of us were really hungry so we just went home. We ended up going to Firehouse Subs around 8 p.m. so Mr. Layland could get his free sandwich!

It was such a fun day because instead of giving him presents all at once they coordinated with our activities and I think it made the whole day more fun. Of course, there’s not much that we don’t enjoy doing as long as we’re together so hopefully a date like this won’t be hard for y’all to plan either!

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

Quick ‘n Easy Cinnamon Rolls

These rolls are faster than any recipe I’ve seen. I saw one that took THREE HOURS!?!? My first thought was, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” This recipe is as fast as you are…plus 25 minutes.

Growing up, my Mom would make cinnamon rolls randomly here and there throughout the year. I’m just learning that other Moms only make cinnamon rolls for Christmas or when requested on birthdays. So glad I have the Mom I do – no way was I about to get jipped on my cinnamon rolls in life!

Here’s the printable recipe so you can have easy access to delicious cinnamon rolls whenever you need them!

I haven’t made cinnamon rolls since I got married (9 months ago) and when I realized that I decided to do something about it. The basis of this recipe is my mother’s but I added a few things so now it’s mine 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C oil
  • 3 T yeast
  • 1 C warm milk
  • 5 C flour

Here we go. Dissolve the yeast in warm milk and sugar. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.

When you come back here’s what you’ll have.

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Mix in the eggs, oil, salt, 3 T butter and 1 C of flour at a time. Knead dough on a floured surface and form into a ball. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle. Or as much of a rectangle as you can manage.

I love this next part. Melt the rest of the butter or just leave it out on your Arizona counter for a while and it’ll soften up real nice. Cover the rolled out dough with the butter then sprinkle (or dump) the dough with a mixture of 1 C brown sugar and 3 T cinnamon. Feel free to add nuts or raisins at this time.

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Don’t forget those edges! It’s the worst when you get a cinnamon roll that’s mostly just roll — so load it on there! Next, starting with one LONG end, roll the dough over on itself and make a long tube.

Now this is a family secret I’m sharing here so pay attention.

Dental floss.

Yes, I’m serious. If you’ve never seen this method then I honestly have no idea how you’ve been making cinnamon rolls your entire life. It’s so easy and makes for beautiful rolls! If you have always used another method that works just as well please let me know in the comments – I’m so curious.

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Slide the floss under the rolls (about 2 inches), lift up the floss into a cross and pull! There you have it – a perfectly cut, non-squished cinnamon roll. Arrange on a greased cookie sheet. Cover & let rise 10 min.

If you’re like me then this is the part where you realize you’ll need to leave the house right as soon as the rolls come out the oven – so you dash off to take a quick shower!

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake for 10-12 min.

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While the rolls were in the oven I did my makeup and threw my hair up in a bun. I felt like Kim McAfee in “Bye Bye Birdie” when she decides she’s grown up — except I had cinnamon rolls 🙂

I still had a few minutes so I made the icing while the rolls were finishing up. Are you ready for another secret to this recipe?

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Cream cheese. If you hate cream cheese you might still like this because you mix it with sugar, milk, butter and vanilla. All good things, right?

If anyone has another icing recipe – please comment below! I’d love to try a new one!

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Using a hand mixer, combine 3 C powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 4 T softened butter and 3 oz cream cheese. Mix it on low-medium for 30 seconds to combine and then on high for 1 minute.

If it’s too stiff add just a splash of milk at a time until it’s at the desired consistency.

As soon as the rolls are done dollop the icing on top so that it melts all over the rolls. This is cinnamon roll making law – you have to cover the entire roll.

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You could wait for them to cool but honestly, who likes cold cinnamon rolls over warm ones? These lasted 24 hours in our house. I am happy to tell you it was not just the two of us who ate them all. We had seven other people helping us eat them!

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

Pin Cushion Jar

A few months ago I bought a sewing kit that came with all the essentials and had a second section for storing fabric and other odds and ends. My issue with this kit is that it’s not big enough and my thread gets mixed in with everything else.

This pincushion gives me more room in my sewing kit and it puts all my thread in one easy-to-search container! I’ve been using it for a few days and I love it – and it’s cute 🙂

All you need is a jar with a 2-part screw on lid, a smidgen of stuffing, enough fabric to cover the lid, glass paint and nail polish remover. I wanted to have a black lid so I used spray paint too.

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In order to get this stained glass look you don’t need and oven or several hours to wait on mod podge and food coloring to dry. I used glass paint and nail polish remover. The nail polish remover thins it out so you can use as much or as little as you want. It all depends on how transparent you want the jar to be.

I wanted a stained glass look but the first time I didn’t use enough nail polish remover so it was really dark. The second try I used about a teaspoon of paint and 1/8 C of nail polish remover. I had to play around with it to figure out exactly how I wanted it to look.

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The second time around it was thin enough but left these dots. Ugh. The good thing about this process is that you can re-do it before it dries by rinsing it out with water. In the end I decided to try it one more time.

Third time’s a charm, right?

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There we go! That’s what I was going for. Thin, even coat of paint just to give the jar a little something – a little pizazz!

Making the poof was a little more complicated that I anticipated. Create a little pocket through the lid with the fabric square and fill it with stuffing. Put the sealing disc into place and cut off the excess fabric. Secure down the little fringe leftover with super glue, hot glue, or tape. Voila! You’re set to collect thread and bobbins!

Do you think it’s possible to have too many organizing containers?

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

Snow Monster

I worked at Learning Express a thousand years ago and we used to sell these “Ugly Dolls” that were quite hideous little stuffed monsters. The toy sparked an idea and I thought I would try making my own little monster!

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The fabric pretty much chose the type of monster for me – how can it not be a little snow monster? It’s so fuzzy and white! I’m planning on sending it to my sister who is on her mission in Honduras. I know she’ll like it but I thought there might be a little girl where she lives that could really use a new fun toy and Elena could share it with her.

For starters, I traced around my hand, with my pinky & thumb sticking out from the rest of my fingers. The monster is basically two mittens sewn together – just don’t forget she needs two arms!

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After I cut out the shape of the body I used felt to make the teeth, eyes and pink bow. Obviously you could make a little boy snow monster and opt out of the bow. I sewed on the little accessories by hand before I put the body together.

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To give it a little mouth just pull the fabric up over the bottom edge of the teeth and sew it in place. I did that with the machine and because the fabric is so fuzzy you can’t even tell!

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At this point we’re going to divert from what I actually did because I did it the hard way. Put the right sides of the fabric together and cut a line in the bottom portion for legs. Starting at the side of the head sew around the monster, leaving a hole at the top where you will put the stuffing in.

Flip the monster inside out and pack in enough stuffing to make her soft but sturdy. Remember that hole in the top of her head? Sew that up by hand, folding the edges in and using a blind stitch.

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Ta da! Congratulations! You have your very own snow monster!

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

Love Calendar

Welcome to a new month!

This is a quick post all about love ❤ Kudos to The Dating Divas for this idea – they are genius! They posted a “Love Calendar” for August and I thought it was a brilliant idea.

What I love about it is that the calendar isn’t impossible. Some nights it says “She gets a foot massage” or “Leave him a love note on the mirror” and that’s it — easy. No one has time for extravagant dates every night and this calendar acknowledges that reality.

Originally I wanted to follow this calendar and post about it in September, creating a Love Calendar for September for y’all to print. However, I realized that it might be a little weird for the entire world to know about each and every one one of the dates I go on with Mr.Layland. So I scratched that idea.

I also thought – what’s the point of me making a calendar to share when I know not everyone wants to do the same dates as me?! So here’s the new plan:

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I’m making my own calendar &  keeping it a secret!

Why not make your own? This way you can plan this month full of things you want to do! If you’ve been wanting to have a picnic – throw it on there! If you’ve been wanting to watch a foreign film – plan it! If you always mean to leave little notes and forget every time – schedule it for a day and make sure you remember!

Here is the printable version for my blank LOVE CALENDAR you can use to get started. Remember, this is all about love – not spending your last dime. Don’t forget to add things like my Take-Your-Pick date using coupons or an All-Day date including errands you would rather do together! As always, going on a walk together, giving each other back massages, going to bed early to talk and cuddle, and going along with that movie he loves but you hate – are always good ideas too!

If you’re looking for quick ideas consider writing a love note and leaving it in his car, texting him during the day just to say “I love you!” or sending him the link to a love song that is special to the two of you. I’m sure you’ll brighten his day!

That’s life with Mr.Layland & Me!

Double-Double Date

Dating your spouse or significant other is a blast, right? Sometimes I feel this pain of guilt because we basically never spend time with anyone else. Who would want to when you’re married to your favorite person!?

If you’ve felt that guilt and want to do something about it then read on!

The other couple for our date was actually Mr. Layland’s parents 🙂 Every now and then we’ll all play a game together but we tend to get so caught up in the game that there really isn’t a lot of conversation. For whatever reason, the strongest desire to “bond” came over me and resulted in this Double-Double Date.

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As always – you can alter this idea to make it your own!

We invited them to meet us in the kitchen at 6 o’clock on a Saturday. Around 5:30 I started making pizza dough. By the time everyone gathered I was a hot mess. There I was in the kitchen, pressing out pizza dough, probably covered in flour and trying to command the troops. Luckily my troops consisted of three other people.

I baked the crust while Mrs. Layland Sr made the Jello No-Bake Cheesecake. This is important! Take the time to think ahead and make sure you won’t be overflowing  the oven or stove. I did a no-bake dessert so we wouldn’t have to worry about that.

Each couple added on the toppings they wanted to their pizza and they were done in 10 minutes!. Whatever you do – make sure you put down like four hot pads or trivets so you don’t heat stain your mother-in-law’s special solid oak table. Not that that happened.

We ate dinner together and had a lovely time just catching up and talking about the latest. We shared stories and memories and had a great time just relaxing together.

After dinner we cleared the table for Double-Double Trivia!!!!

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I made it up 🙂

The idea for this game was inspired by the trivia game played on Friends between Rachel/Monica and Chandler/Joey. Our game was just for fun though. Everyone kept their own living space.

The categories are: WhatIfTrueFalse1FavoriteThings1, and DatingHistory2. Like I said, I always want you to be able to make these ideas your own so here is a customizable LighteningRound1 for you! Print these out and rank the questions on the blank side with their point values.

We finished the game in about an hour and had a blast! I thought because they were Mr. Layland’s parents they would have an easier time of it but we actually ended up winning!!! And we learned a lot about Mr. Layland’s parents 🙂

After the game we wrapped up the evening by eating way too many mini no-bake cheesecakes! Mmmm….

That’s life with Mr. Layland and Me!