New Mom = Busy Mom

“Mr. Layland & Me” has gotten a new look and new plans for more posts, which I’m super excited about. Not to jinx anything but I think Calvin has a fairly predictable napping schedule now which will allow me more time to blog about our adventures!

 

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I’ve been working from home since we moved to New Jersey but between having a baby and hosting a ton of company this summer there hasn’t been a lot of downtime to move beyond the basics. Somehow I’ve still managed get a little work done on the side!

One of the most enjoyable ways I’ve been working is by proofreading content and reviewing resumes on Fiverr.com which has gone surprisingly well! It gives me a lot of flexibility to work while Calvin naps or when I get these crazy urges to get some work done after getting up with him at 2 am. I don’t know where I get it.

I’ve also been writing for KSL.com — I love that it’s even a possibility to write for a publication headquartered over 2,000 miles away. My most recent article is about Hannah, originally from Tennessee, who is starting her own line of children’s books to increase childhood literacy rates in underprivileged areas around the world. The first book features a story about life in New York City!

I’ve also written about plans for a women’s healthcare unit in Iraq and an amazing engineering project at BYU. When there is so much negativity in the world I feel so lucky to be writing about these wonderful people and the good they’re trying to accomplish!

Now for the most creative way I’ve been using my downtime — my Etsy shop, Peter & Alice. I’m designing custom watercolor decor using themes from classic children’s stories like Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland…hence the name. Mr. Layland is always so supportive of my dreams and goes above and beyond to help me make them happen. This shop wouldn’t have opened without his help!

Calvin sure keeps me busy and some days I don’t even shower (welcome to reality) but he is so happy and sweet I wouldn’t trade a minute of it.

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Yes, adding in these work-from-home outlets means even my “breaks” are busy but don’t worry, Mr. Layland and I still manage to get some relaxing time together.

So that’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

Mr. Layland & Me + C

After six months of insanity (and not posting) I’ve finally found time to sit down and write a quick update about our lives and all the amazing things we’ve been up to! My life has drastically changed since February and while our date nights now include a third wheel all the changes have been for the better.

Meet the cutest date night stowaway in the world: Calvin.

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Yes, he is always an angel. Just kidding. While he is super happy and has a smile that could melt the coldest heart he is still a baby and does cry and poop. There’s just no getting around those things. But somehow he still manages to look cute when he cries!

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I fell in love with him the moment he was born.

He’s been a solid sleeper and eater since the start and now (8 weeks old) he sleeps 6-7 hours at night! I’m one well-rested Mom…and yet still feel the need for a nap every once in a while. I was nervous about feeling overwhelmed after having him but more often than not when I cry it’s because he’s too cute.

You can’t make this stuff up.

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Mini Birth Story: JUNE 8, 2016: Early that morning Mr. Layland and I went for a walk (after I had been having contractions for 4 hours) and after about 30 minutes my water broke! We got checked in at the hospital around 7:30 am and I’ll tell you right now it’s nothing like the movies. At that point I was dilated to 4 cm and by midday had only made it to 5cm after getting an epidural so they started me on Pitocin. Over the next 8 hours I did what I could to rest and Mr. Layland did his best to not freak out and instead performed card tricks for me. That was a first.

Around 8 o’clock I was (finally) fully dilated and the doctor suggested a practice push to see where I was at. With that first push they could see little Calvin’s head so they called in my doctor, got all the equipment set up, half of my bed disappeared and next thing I know I was having a baby! Thirty minutes later Calvin James Layland was born and he’s been a bundle of smiling cuteness ever since.

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Mr. Layland has been singing to and playing with Calvin from the start. It melts my heart to see them together. I know Calvin is in for some great times with his Dad! The votes on who he looks like seem to be pretty evenly divided but we can see characteristics of both of us in him so for the most part we think he just looks like himself 🙂

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The other big change in our lives was our move to New Jersey which has been an amazing adventure full of new hobbies and new friends. The people here are so warm and everyone at church has offered help and friendship since day one. I’ve started up a new Etsy shop Peter & Alice and now that Calvin has more of a regular schedule I can dedicate more time to designing which makes me really excited.

Posts about date nights, recipes, and nursery decor to come!

So that’s life with Mr. Layland & Me + C

New Adventures

I’ve always been a big supporter of trying new things — new food, new places, new activities — mostly everything except new games because (let’s be honest) learning a new game is the bane of my existence. I’m working on it.

It’s been a while since I’ve taken on a new adventure, the last one was moving to Arizona in the summer of 2013. People do crazy things for love! Some of us move to The Surface of the Sun and fail miserably at not complaining too much about the heat 🙂

Now that it’s 2016 the desert just isn’t cutting it anymore and it’s time for a new adventure! Or what sometimes lately feels like ALL of the adventures.

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ADVENTURE #1 We’re expecting a baby this summer! We are absolutely thrilled and it’s been a blast telling everyone, seeing our baby on ultrasounds and using gender announcements as an excuse to support Gigi’s Cupcakes. Like you really need an excuse. I’ve been so lucky to feel great so far! 6 months down, 3 to go! Our little guy is due in June and we’ve decided to name him Calvin. Of course, it’s taken us three years to decide on one girl name and one boy name so if our next child isn’t a girl we’re in serious trouble.

ADVENTURE #2 Given that our first adventure is going to take a lot of my time I’ve transitioned to full-time freelance writing. This will allow me a few months to build a client base and prep for a schedule change when Calvin comes. Toss in the dreamy potential of teaching piano once we get settled (and get a piano) and color me excited!

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ADVENTURE #3 We’re moving! Whaaaaattt??? I know. Believe it or not we are relocating to New Jersey, also on the list of places I never thought I’d live. But forget all your Jersey stereotypes and think hiking, adorable neighborhoods & one-hour train rides to NYC! Mr. Layland got a new job with Wyndham so we’re packing up and making the trek to the East Coast! I think he’s most excited about seeing shows on Broadway.

I’m most excited about not being 9 months pregnant during an Arizona summer 🙂

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

 

Layland Apt 2.0

We moved into our apartment right before Christmas last year and as you can imagine with all the holiday rush we were lucky just to get somewhat settled in. Now, (8 months later) I’ve finally gotten around to sprucing up the place and getting everything a little more coordinated and let’s face it – grown up.

I’ll add a few more updates as I add some final touches here and there but for the most part we’re officially living the coordinated life.

Welcome to our home!

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This welcome wreath still makes me smile every time I come home! It was easy to make and turned out exactly how I wanted it to. I’m so proud 🙂

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The gallery wall in our living room never quite sat right with me so I did a little Pinterest research and designed this new layout. I love it so much better! With this new setup our old pillows didn’t work anymore so I bought four new ones and recovered two of them with fabric I had. This is a great tutorial on recovering pillows.

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As for our bedroom I made the headboard using this tutorial as inspiration. It’s easy to do but it takes some time. The coolest thing out of this whole experience is that I learned how to cover buttons! I bought the grey & white pillows from Target but I made the bow pillow featured on this blog. I got the duvet cover and shams from Target crazy on sale – thank you coupon codes!

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Last but not least – that amazing lamp? I scored it at Goodwill for $9 in perfect condition. It doesn’t get much better than that!

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With all the organizing and re-doing I moved my dresser and updated the paper in my “I Love You Because…” frame so it matched our room! The ceramic figurine was actually our wedding cake topper. I picked it thinking ahead, knowing I would want something we could display in our home after we got married!

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I had this dry erase calendar hanging in our bathroom that I finally admitted – we never use. I was literally headed to throw it away when I had this genius idea to see if it would work as a photo collage frame! I arranged the pictures and used mod podge to set them in place and there you have it.

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This is the only thing I’ve managed to do in the bathroom so far. I’ve got a coordinating sink in the works so that’ll come soon!

That’s life with Mr.Layland & Me!

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!

Summer Veggie Tian

Thanks to Pixar’s Ratatouille I saw this dish on Pinterest and thought that’s what it was. Turns out it’s not and ratatouille involves peppers and eggplant…totally different dish which yes – I’ll be trying soon 🙂

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This is one of the easiest recipes in the world. Slice up one potato, tomato, zucchini and yellow squash. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Alternate the slices in a glass dish and sprinkle with rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and back for an additional 15 minutes.

This was our entire dinner but you could always add a side of chicken or a green salad!

So that’s dinner with Mr. Layland & Me!

Stacked Sandwich

We’ve been traveling quite a bit this summer which has been great but it’s wrecked havoc on eating well and exercising. Now that we’re back to our regular routine on the surface on the sun – we’re going clean!

This sandwich is stacked high with all sorts of good-for-you veggies!

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Spread 1/2 an avocado over both slices of bread then stack up one side with lettuce, tomato, alfalfa sprouts, pickles, and a few strips of delicious rosemary grilled chicken & you’re set to go!

So that’s lunch with Mr.Layland & Me!