Calvin’s 1st Birthday

I’m sure every mother feels the same way I did when Calvin’s 1st birthday came around. I couldn’t believe an entire YEAR had gone by! It feels like it was just last night that I was standing over my teeny little newborn in the hospital, desperately trying to change his diaper in my exhaustion, only to discover seconds later while I was drying to wet down those stupid dry wipes that he had started pooping again.

Ahh motherhood 🙂

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Needless to say, things have really been great since that night and I absolutely love being a mother. Calvin is so much fun and unless he’s cutting a new tooth he’s really happy. I knew that going into his birthday with high expectations would be a recipe for disaster so I told myself that as long as I got ONE good picture that would be great.

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And guess what? His birthday was great, we had so much fun, and I got a ton of cute pictures! I’m so glad I approached his birthday with minimal expectations because I was able to focus on what was happening and just watch Calvin enjoy his birthday.

I meant to make him a sugar-free, baby friendly cake and practice the week before his birthday but what with everything else going on that just didn’t happen. The night before his birthday we grabbed a few traditional decorations like a Happy Birthday sign and streamers while I got the essentials for the cake and I have to say, I’m pretty darn proud of how it turned out! My mom helped me engineer Calvin’s little cake and was a great sounding board for how much dye to use to get the ombre right – so glad she was there!

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Calvin was really more interested in playing with the cake than eating it 🙂 We all had lunch and cake then went to Hoboken to enjoy an afternoon in the park. We took the chance to rent bikes and show the town off to my parents – which I would definitely recommend! Biking is a great way to see the neighborhoods and all of the waterfront without getting exhausted.

All in all, Calvin had a very successful first birthday and I think everyone else enjoyed themselves too!

 

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

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Kitchen-Aid + Desk Makeover

If you’re anything like me you like a little change here and there, especially if it’s something fun to spruce up your home. Every once in a while I get the urge to switch things up and for whatever reason, there’s nothing like the pressure of company coming to light the fire of urgency! We had family come stay for a few weeks to celebrate Calvin’s 1st birthday and I wanted to have these two projects done before then – which I did!

I’ve had my Kitchen-Aid mixer for almost 4 years but I honestly haven’t used it that much. Until I found this recipe for Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies it really just looked impressive on my kitchen counter. Since the recipe calls for cold butter and several minutes of mixing I decided to break out the Kitchen-Aid and put it to good use. Ever since then I probably use it once a week!

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A couple of months ago I noticed the new line of colors Kitchen-Aid came out with and just about died over the Ice Blue color but when you have a perfectly functioning mixer you can’t drop $430 on a new one just because it’s pretty.

Or so my head told me 🙂

Mr. Layland, being the helpful genius that he is, found this Apartment Therapy tutorial on painting a Kitchen-Aid and I was sold! It’s really quite easy, and so much cheaper than buying a new mixer, so if you’re interested I’d say go for it! I used Ocean Mist spray paint from Home Depot and LOVE how it turned out! You have to take the gloss coat off the original color – mine was red – which really wasn’t bad so don’t let that stop you. After that, it’s just a matter of taking off as many metal parts as you can and covering those you can’t before painting. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes!

The second project was to freshen up my workspace. A little while ago we decided to get rid of our TV which freed up some space in our living room so I brought my desk out to give myself a little more space while I work. That’s when I realized my $20 Walmart desk I’d had for a few years didn’t add much to the look of the living room. I contemplated a few methods and (after a fight with Mr. Layland in Home Depot about fabric and epoxy) eventually landed on the idea of using faux marble contact paper.

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I ordered a 6ft roll on Amazon and thanks to 2-day shipping I was able to get it done the night before company arrived! And I LOVE it! It’s a glossy plastic-like paper so it was stiffer than I was expecting but it makes it much more durable. The desk was black so switching things up for a white marble really brightened up the entire living room and gave my workspace a much needed makeover.

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I ordered the computer back in the fall through the surplus warehouse at BYU-Idaho which sells the school’s computers after they’ve been used for three years. Starting price is $400 — which for a gently used iMac, is amazing! This one came from Spori 114 where I used to work on the school paper! So that was a sweet bit of nostalgia.

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As you can see, it’s amazing I ever get anything done!

We swapped out the black HP keyboard it came with for a new Apple keyboard and I decided it was time to part ways with the chair I reupholstered back in Arizona. The white one I’m using now is one of our kitchen chairs that doesn’t fit around our table with Calvin’s high chair.

So there you have it! A little painting here, a little contact paper there and voila!

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

 

 

Father’s Day Favorites

Yesterday included celebrating Father’s Day, along with everyone else, and loving the chance to celebrate how much we love Mr. Layland! He is such a loving father to little Calvin and all the fun our little guy deserves. When I’m exhausted – he can take over with his Energizer Bunny personality and Calvin loves it. From Day #1 Mr. Layland has been a great Dad and since then he’s only gotten better!

IMG_1856 Becoming parents has been quite the adventure and I’ve loved having him by my side through everything. I wanted to get him something special but I’m the worst at buying gifts! I racked my brain for a few weeks and shopped around online until I finally came across what I thought would be the perfect Father’s Day gift – engraved collar stays.

They’re essentially the bobby pin equivalent for men. You own 5,000 but can only ever find 3. I figured getting nice metal ones would somehow make them easier to keep track of. We’ll see!

I mulled over a few clever phrases to have engraved but in the end I decided to stick with a classic monogram. Thank you to Jane.com for continuing my online shopping addiction and to NameJewelrySpot.com for coming up with this genius idea!

After going to church in the morning and getting in our post-church naps (because going to church for 3 hours with a 1-year old is exhausting) we whipped up a batch of Mr.Layland’s favorite cookies from Modern Honey. She’s come up with copycat cookie recipes for Levain Bakery – which are some of our all-time favorite cookies in NYC! This way when we can’t make it into the city for a sweet treat we can get pretty close right in our own kitchen.

If you’re more into chocolate, have no fear, she has an amazing Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip recipe!

I’ve had my Kitchen-Aid mixer for almost 4 years but I honestly haven’t used it that much. When I came across this recipe I decided to use it since it calls for cold butter and have been hooked ever since! I love using my Kitchen-Aid!

A couple of months ago I noticed the new line of colors Kitchen-Aid came out with and just about died over the Ice Blue color but when you have a perfectly functioning mixer you can’t drop $430 on a new one just because it’s pretty.

Mr. Layland, being the helpful genius he is, found this Apartment Therapy tutorial on painting a Kitchen-Aid and I was sold! It’s really quite easy, and so much cheaper than buying a new mixer, so if you’re interested I’d say go for it! I used Ocean Mist spray paint from Home Depot and LOVE how it turned out!

We finished off the day by calling our fathers and playing with little Mr. C and by all accounts, had a really great day! Happy Father’s Day!