I Left My Heart in San Francisco

As we crossed the bay bridge into San Francisco and I got my first glimpse of the city I thought “Who in their right mind would want to live like this!? Everyone is stacked claustrophobically close to each other up and down these insane hills!?”

Princess Diaries makes them look amusing but driving them in real life is definitely something to get used to. Surprisingly, two days later I was so sad to leave! It’s amazing how quickly you can fall in love with a city!

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After living in Arizona I think I’d be happy living just about anywhere but oh my goodness, the Bay Area is calling my name! There is so much to do & see and that WEATHER! Sign me up! This trip doesn’t qualify as a “date” for us but for anyone who is in the Bay Area and needs a date idea — just check out the pictures!

What I love about the bay area is that there’s something for everyone. If you like hiking – there are trails. If you like animals – there are zoos and horseback riding on the beach. If you like the water – you have the beach and the bay. If you like food – there are endless options for amazing food from every cuisine. Options are endless!

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

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Date Night at the Batting Cages

One night we were driving around Scottsdale running a few errands and Mr. Layland suggested we go to the batting cages sometime. He loves baseball and I love eating food while other people work out, so going to a baseball game together worked out pretty well the first time. I figured the batting cages could be fun!

Just a few days later he texted me “batting cages tonight?” and suddenly this feeling of dread swept over me. Why did I say yes? I’ve never been the batting cages! I’m going to be so embarrassing – the last time I used a bat was more than 10 years ago!!!

So I grew up and we went.

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Isn’t he adorable? He went first so I could see how it’s done and then I hit softballs instead baseballs. Softballs are bigger which meant less embarrassing moments for me!

I had a blast! The best part was that it makes for a super cheap date night — it’s only $1.50 for 18 pitches and about halfway through my second round I was done. We did also ride the go-carts 🙂 It was a night full of firsts for me so we had to! Mr. Layland won and my little go-cart stalled on the last lap so needless to say, I didn’t win.

We had such a great night really just playing together ❤

 

So that’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

Valentine’s Day

Sometimes I think there’s way too much pressure when it comes to Valentine’s Day. That’s why I absolutely LOVED this past Valentine’s Day I shared with Mr. Layland! It was simple and sweet.

He never ceases to impress me – everyday is an adventure full of sweet surprises 🙂 It doesn’t take too much to make me happy and needless to say the flowers and gummy worms pretty much set me up for the next year! I LOVE gummy worms.

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We’ve unintentionally created this tradition where we get our our china (thank you Grandma & Pop!) and eat Chinese food for Valentine’s Day. Get it – china and china? It’s amusing and delicious.

I love that we get our china out even though it’s just the two of us! No special company or a huge family gathering like Thanksgiving – just Valentine’s Day ❤

After dinner I was in heaven eating those gummy worms and smiled every time I looked at my flowers — like all night. While we had our snacks we watched a move and talked and had the best time, just the two of us.

Happy (super belated) Valentine’s Day ❤ ❤ ❤

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

Game Night Date Night

I like basketball and Mr. Layland likes baseball. We both think the other sport is a waste of time but love and marriage is about sacrifice, right? We’ve been lucky enough in the past few months to make it to both games and quite enjoyed ourselves!

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Phoenix Suns VS Milwakee Bucks

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Cardinals VS Diamondbacks

There are two great things about going to games as a couple.

1 – You suddenly learn that your husband knows A TON about baseball. You never knew it but he’s the walking-talking version of Baseball for Dummies that you’ve always needed! Next thing you know, you actually understand the game of baseball 🙂

2 – The food. That goes for pretty much any sporting event. Basketball? Food. Baseball? Food. Hockey? Food. Sports are a beautiful thing.

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Sadly, it was this very tray of nachos that distracted me from seeing Jabari Parker tear his ACL and get carried off the court. Missed the whole thing. I saw him fall down and next thing I know he’s already off the court and the player I THINK is Jabari Parker is walking away and I’m thinking “Oh good, he’s fine!” Little did I know that one minute I looked down would mean no more games for Jabari Parker. Ooops!

We had a blast at both games and got the chance to share our sports passions with each other. It’s always fun to add a little competition into a date night, even if it is just about which team you’re cheering for! Who does’t love screaming at the top of their lungs for a few hours?! Oh & don’t forget to document the great time you had together ❤

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That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

All-About-Him Date Idea

I’ll admit it – a lot of the date ideas I come up with are activities I really want to do. Usually we have a great time together but I know there are certain things Mr. Layland would prefer to do that I wouldn’t voluntarily plan. I decided to create a date night all about Mr. Layland and things he loves doing!

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For whatever reason I have never…ever ever ever ever enjoyed playing Monopoly. I used to play with my brother when we were kids and I hated it then! Probably because I knew no matter what I would lose. Not much has changed.

Mr. Layland loves playing Monopoly so I decided to suck it up and initiate a game of Monopoly. He was understandably surprised and excited 🙂 His favorite show is Friends and I honestly don’t mind it so I suggested we watch a few episodes. We had a great time, I laughed, and Mr. Layland was very happy!

This idea doesn’t take a lot of planning – just pick one or two things that you know your significant other enjoys and offer to do it together!

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!

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!

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!

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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 🙂

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.

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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 🙂

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

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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 🙂

So 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?!

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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 together  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 🙂 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!