Monday, October 12, 2015

Beef Bourguignon for the French Lovers

I am obsessed with French food; it is my all-time favorite.  I eat as much as I can :-) Recently, I've had a few requests for my beef bourguignon recipe and I’m happy to share with y’all.  I'm fully aware that the name of this recipe can be a little bit intimidating (trust me I was scared at first too), but don’t let it hold you back.  I actually use a crockpot for this recipe!  You can do this too my friends! 

While I’m a HUGE fan of Julia Child, this isn't her recipe.  I took the time to develop this recipe, and there was a lot of trial and error, but I like to think the Julia would be proud of my investment in this recipe while trying my best to preserve the French authenticity of the dish.  I hope that you all like it as much as we do
From the Kitchen of Darby Hawley
Beef Bourguignon-2

2 lbs. cubed beef chuck
1 tbs EVOO
8 oz. applewood smoked bacon, chopped
¼ cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1 chicken bouillon
6-8 oz. carrots, chopped
4 oz. sliced mushrooms, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
6 oz. tomato paste
3 garlic gloves, chopped
1 tbs ground thyme
½ cup all-purpose flour
1½ cups cabernet sauvignon
In this version of beef bourguignon, potatoes are not included in the stew, but instead the stew is served over mashed potatoes.  Please don't be skimpy and use boxed mashed potatoes; it DOES matter.  Besides, if you're making such a famous French dish go all out and enjoy yourself with the good stuff life has to offer.  My mashed potato recipe has never been written down (because I mix based on taste not measurement) but this is a mashed potato recipe that I highly recommend.  Maybe one day I will get around to writing my recipe for potatoes down for you.

1. Season beef with salt and pepper, and place half (about 1 lb.) in a slow cooker.  Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat, and brown the rest of the beef on all sides.  Then transfer the rest of the beef to the slow cooker.
2. In the same skillet that you browned the beef in, cook the bacon until it’s crisp.  While the bacon is cooking, add soy sauce, water, chicken bouillon, carrots, and mushrooms to the beef in the crockpot.  Turn the crockpot onto low. 
3. Add the shallots to the bacon and cook until the shallots are translucent.  Stir in the garlic & thyme and cook for 30 seconds (remember that garlic burns easily so continue to stir frequently).  Add in the tomato paste and flour, and stir for 1 minute (It will become very lumpy & thick).  Slowly stir in wine being sure to scrape down any yummy bits and pieces from the edges of the skillet- this will begin to resemble of wine roux.  Continue to whisk the wine mixture until the lumps become smooth, and then transfer it to your crockpot.  Cover and cook on low for 10 hours, or high for 6 hours.  I honestly, will start mine before going to bed and let it cook on warm over night so that at dinner it is so tender and the flavors have had ample time to fall in love and marry :-)
4. Serve over rich mashed potatoes, and Enjoy!

Beef Bourguignon

Friday, October 9, 2015

Teeny Peep Bumpdate- Week 24

24 Weeks
Date: 10/3/15
How far along: 24 weeks

Fruit-size comparison: Cantaloupe
Developmental milestones: Well apparently my uterus is the size of a soccer ball! haha  Teeny Peep is about as long as an ear of corn, and she is weighing more than a pound now.  The branches of her lungs are busy growing this week so that she will be able to breath better outside of the womb. Her skin is less transparent and becoming more and more pink. 
Maternity clothes: Since the weather is finally starting to calm down, and I’m not sweating while I sit in the air conditioning, I’m starting to go through my fall clothes and layer items.  Most of my pre-pregnancy clothes that I wore last fall I’m still able to fit into (mostly because they aren’t form-fitting).  I love fall fashion and so far my wardrobe is fine in this area. 
Weight gain: I am up 6 lbs now.  I am officially at my prepregnancy weight for Dutch, and at this point with Dutch I had gained 13 lbs.
Stretch Marks: I've got plenty of kisses from heaven from carrying Dutch.  I applied lotions and such daily with that pregnancy, but to be honest I don't think I'm even going to try to prevent future stretch  marks.  I absolutely love these badges of honor and I'm so proud to wear them.
Sleep: I love it and I want it all the time :-)  At night time I’m still getting up a few times to use the restroom, but I can easily fall back to sleep.  One morning this week, my body just woke me up and I was ready to go at 4:30 am.  It was weird but I got some things done around the house.
Best moment of the week: We were supposed to have a super busy weekend, but everything ended up being canceled.  I feel like we won time together.  We got to do our chores at a leisurely pace and go to the park.  It was just a very relaxing weekend. 
Movement: I am in love with her ballet movements.  I’m already getting sad that I wont feel them in a few months, so I’m cherishing every kick.  The majority of her kicks are still really low and on my left side (about belly button level).
Cravings: Sugar & spice and everything nice ;-)
Gender: Teeny Peep is a girl!  I made her a few hair bows this week and added a rack to the nursery to hang her hairbows on.  I think this is really the only addition I want to add to the nursery.
Belly button: It’s starting to poke out at the top.  I am so hopeful that it will completely invert.  I know that is so weird, but I think belly buttons that poke out with pregnancy are so gorgeous!
Wedding ring: Still on and a little loose
Anything making you queasy/sick: Nope :-)
What I miss: Chasing Dutch without losing my breath so fast lol
What I’m looking forward to: I’m trying my best not to wish time away and practicing the art of just living in the moment.  This season of the –ember months has plenty of fun things to do as a family that I’m looking forward to; all of the festivities are so much fun with Dutch.  We love experiencing things with Dutch; it makes it feel like the first time for us as well.
Labor signs: Nooooo! Thank goodness!
Symptoms: I can tell that my chest is changing a lot: things are bigger and I can tell that my body is getting ready for another nursling.  I am very sensitive, and I’m having trouble doing a lot of my prenatal yoga with my yoga ball.  I’m praying that this is a sign that I will have another great experience nursing another baby.
Nursery: There isn't going to be a new nursery.  We plan on having Dutch and Teeny Peep share a room.  It's not that we don't have the space; we do have another bedroom, but we would like our kiddos to share a room when they are younger.  We're thinking this will be a great opportunity to continue building character with our children.  And to be honest, Dutch didn't move into his nursery until he was eight months old, and even then only for a few hours a day until he was 11 months old, so the new baby will probably stay in our room about the same amount of time and then we will do a transition of some sort.  Of course we don't know what it is like to have two children and exactly what it will be like, but this is how we think we are going to try to start.
Emotions: Pure joy :-) I’m so happy with just living in the right now.  I am starting to get bits and pieces of anxiety trickling into my brain about how little time we have left before her arrival.  I know that I have not even started tackling my to do list and between now and her arrival there are so many things going on with the holidays, so that does make me a little anxious as to what will actually get done.  I’m trying to start tackling that list a little each week so that I don’t begin to freak out.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Infertility Awareness Month

It seems like every day is a national something…
National Coffee Day, National Hotdog Day, National Girls Night Out Day...
and the list goes on & on… really there is something for 365 days a year.  In addition to that, every month has a thing to be honored or lifted up.  October is a month for families & research, no doubt, with it being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but it is also Infertility Awareness MonthInfertility Awareness Month- OctoberThis is a community that is so near and dear to my heart.  For years we struggled to grow our family and even had a baby that went home to be with Jesus far too soon.  For years we searched and prayed deeply to bring a baby home, and fertility is not something that we take for granted at all.  Following our years of fertility treatments and eventual conception of Dutch, we have had the privilege and honor of praying for and crying with friends near and far as they waited for their turn to grow their family in whatever form that happened.  Looking back now, it was such a blessing to have struggled and lost because now we have the opportunity to be authentic with those still struggling.  Of course we would have chosen a different path for ourselves, but we have found a new mission field for the fertility-challenged community.  We truly love praying for and walking with those still in the storm.  So this month we want to help bring awareness and support to those who are still in the storm of building their families.  Even though your heart may be breaking, the Lord has a plan for you and there will be a rainbow at the end of the storm.  While you wait, you are not alone!  Please let us pray for you and your family!  There is a link to the right that you can click to submit a prayer (anonymous if you chose).  It’s FREE and something that we actually do; we actually pray over every single prayer request.  We have connected and become friends with so many couples who have struggled with infertility. It has been mind-blowing to see all of the babies that have been born since we starting working with this special community (and just for clarification, babies arrived NOT because we prayed and there is something extra special about the way we pray, but through God and the power of prayer and intercession).  We love love LOVE waiting with couples and eventually seeing new mamas and daddies holding their babies for the first time.  So please allow us the opportunity to connect with you and pray for you.Female Infertility In the USA
photo cred

For more information from LWTH on our struggles with infertility here is a short round-up of some of our most popular posts:
Our Struggle with Infertility
Our Struggle with Infertility[5]

Navigating Baby Showers with InfertilityInfertility and Baby Showers

What Not to Say To Someone Struggling With InfertilityWhat Not to Say To Someone Struggling With Infertility

What I Learned Through InfertilityWhat I Learned Through Infertility

What Infertility Looks Like In Our HouseWhat Infertility Looks Like

There are other posts related to our infertility and fertility found here.
If you are struggling with infertility, loss, or grief, I hope you know that I pray for you on a daily basis that God would fulfill the desires of your heart and fill you with peace and joy while you wait.  You are a very special population that I am proud to be a member of to love on and pray for.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Fall LWTH Food Round-Up

Happy Monday friends!  Today I want to talk about food.  Actually, I always want to talk about food these days lol.  Last week I shared some fall ideas for DIY and decorations, but today I want to just focus on tasty, stick to your ribs, fall recipes.....all of these are some of the most popular LWTH recipes.

Festive Apple Coffee Cake
Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow
Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon-Pecan Streusel
Glazed Ham and Cheese Sandwiches
Apple Cheddar Soup with BLT Salad
Apple Cheddar Soup with BLT Salad
Nutella French Toast
Nutella French Toast Sandwich
Fool Proof Homemade LatteFool Proof Homemade Latte
Two-Minute Crockpot Tortellini
Two Minute Crockpot Trotellini
What to do with Thanksgiving Leftovers
Thanksgiving Leftovers
To be honest when I started writing this post I didn’t realize that y’all had so many fall favorite LWTH recipes, but there sure a lot here.  And now, I’m completely starving!!!!!!  Who’s cooking tonight?!?!?!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Teeny Peep Bumpdate- Week 23

23 weeks
I usually take my bumpdate pictures in the morning because I always look this tired every night lol

My little Dutch wanted in on the picture time too….
…well he wanted to read during picture time lolDSC_0226

Teeny Peep received some delicious and gorgeous personalized cookies in the mail this week.  Seriously, they are delicious!  Check out Lil Stuff Cookies to order some yummies!  Thank you mom for this treat!

And one more picture for you today….
This was a rare occurrence, so it had to be documented!  This week the Mr. & I went away for the night for a wedding (congratulations Halls!).  This was the second time we have left Dutch over night (he stayed with his Aunt Grace & Uncle Josh) and our 4th date since he was born.  So yes, we needed a picture lol DSC_0135
Date: 9/26/15
How far along: 23 weeks

Fruit-size comparison: A grapefruit and weighs more than a pound.
Developmental milestones: Teeny Peep’s face is fully formed and will be spending the remainder of the time in my tummy getting chunky.  Who doesn’t love a chunky baby face?! She is definitely listening to me speak and things that are happening in our environment.  Not only can she hear our environment but she can also feel me move, so she is joining Dutch and I in our nightly dance parties.
Maternity clothes: For the most part I’m all maternity, though I’m still wearing my regular jeans as I write this.
Weight gain: I’m up 5 lbs 
Stretch Marks: I've got plenty of kisses from heaven from carrying Dutch.  I applied lotions and such daily with that pregnancy, but to be honest I don't think I'm even going to try to prevent future stretch  marks.  I absolutely love these badges of honor and I'm so proud to wear them.
Sleep: I love sleep, and I’m certain there is no way that I can get enough of it lol 
Best moment of the week: There were several great moments this week, 1- I had an appointment this past week and Teeny Peep seems to be right on track.  Her heart rate was 147 bpm, I’ve gained 5 pounds total, and my bp was 114/60.  Every time we get a good report I am just overwhelmed with gratitude. 2- The Mr. and I have only been on 4 dates since Dutch was born, and we have only left Dutch once overnight, and that was back in the early summer after Dutch turned 1 for a wedding.  I hate leaving him; it makes me feel like I can’t breath (yes, I know that I’m going to have to come to terms with that before he goes to college, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it).  Anyways, we had another out of town wedding this past weekend and left Dutch with his cousins; we knew that he would have a fantastic time.  However, while we hated to be apart from him, it was really nice to just have a day to ourselves.  We celebrated with our friends tying the knot,  stayed out late, ate junk food in bed while watching standup comedy until 11pm, and slept all the way to 7am (hahahaha we’re still old and pregnant so getaways look way different than they used to) 3- On Saturday before we left for our wedding weekend getaway, I got up early (like 5am early) to meet my bestie to go consignment shopping for our babies; we had a blast and scored some awesome deals for our kiddos!  Buying little girls clothes is inexplicably surreal for me.  Well first of all, having tiny baby clothes in the house again is surreal and I still can’t grasp the greatness of this blessing, but having little girl clothes is just mind-blowing for me.  I am out of my league folks; I’ve got some gear shifting that needs to happen to say the least.  I had so much fun and I am loving building Teeny Peep her very own new (new to her of course) wardrobe for her arrival.
Movement: Yes, more and more everyday.  I can feel her squirm around and get ready to kick/punch, and I absolutely love it.  I look forward to her ballet moves all the time.  She is very active at night, so when I get up to use the restroom, sometimes before falling back to sleep I just lay in bed to feel her moving.  I remember doing this when I was pregnant with Dutch, and I will never regret losing sleep to savor those moments, and I know I wont with Teeny Peep either.  Her movements are getting stronger and she is able to move my clothes now.  The other day I was wearing a shirt that had a silk belt that tied into a bow at the top of my bump.  At one point she was kicking the bow and it was moving. :-)
Cravings: Chocolate…. oh sweet stuff is the most amazing thing ever.  I crave chocolate so much that I’m starting to have nightmares that I’m going to give Teeny Peep diabetes.  So while I want chocolate coated everything I’m trying to limit my sugar intake.
Gender: Teeny Peep is a girl! We have had many people ask us about her name.  Yes she does have a name already and we are officially referring to her by name.  Actually when I was consignment shopping this past weekend I found a 6 month 4th of July outfit with her initial on it, so of course I had to get it for her.  While we have her name we most likely will not be sharing it until she is born, like we did with Dutch.
Belly button: The top is poking out some; it’s so cute :-)
Wedding ring: On
Anything making you queasy/sick: Not that I can think of; I’m happy that the all-day sickness from the first 19 weeks seems to have faded into the past.
What I miss: Sushi, I miss sushi.
What I’m looking forward to: The next couple of weeks we have something fun or big every week.  I’m just looking forward to enjoying all of the fun events of the season.  The Mr. and I were talking about all of the big events each month, and they almost seem like a countdown to Teeny Peep’s arrival.  We are looking forward to and embracing all of the days between now and her big debut.
Labor signs: Nooooo! Thank goodness!
Symptoms: My belly is definitely growing, and I love thinking about the reason why it is growing.  Heartburn is under control and physically I’m feeling mostly great.  At the end of long days I’m a little more achy and my back hurts, but nothing unbearable or even painful enough to necessitate doing anything about it.  I’m just trying to rest when I can.
Nursery: There isn't going to be a new nursery.  We plan on having Dutch and Teeny Peep share a room.  It's not that we don't have the space; we do have another bedroom, but we would like our kiddos to share a room when they are younger.  We're thinking this will be a great opportunity to continue building character with our children.  And to be honest, Dutch didn't move into his nursery until he was eight months old, and even then only for a few hours a day until he was 11 months old, so the new baby will probably stay in our room about the same amount of time and then we will do a transition of some sort.  Of course we don't know what it is like to have two children and exactly what it will be like, but this is how we think we are going to try to start.
Emotions: This week has been very joyful; very balanced and steady.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pumpkin Patch Day Dreamin’

Last year I made the outfit below for Dutch as my inspiration for getting his pumpkin patch outfit (because everyone knows that babies have to go to the pumpkin patch to have their picture taken regardless if you purchase a pumpkin or not).  As I start shopping for him this year I’ve started thinking about ways I can get my Little Peep and Teeny Peep to match next year. 
Baby Boy Pumpkin Patch- 2014

I think Dutch looked absolutely precious last year at the pumpkin patch, though I will admit that it was way too hot for what he was wearing.  He ended up being striped down to his diaper after these pictures.  #newmomfailDSC_0551DSC_0685DSC_0686
Here is my inspiration for this year:
Fall Baby Boy- 2015

If Teeny Peep were here this year (which I’m glad she isn’t because I want her to keep baking in my tummy for a lot longer) I would have her dressed in something like this:
Fall Baby Girl- 2015

My mind is still boggled that next year at the pumpkin patch I will have a 2 year old and a 9 month old.  I seriously still cannot comprehend that concept.  If my first year as a parent was any indication, I wont comprehend it while it’s happening next year either hahahaha.

What are you favorite baby clothing brands?  I feel pretty good about where I get deals and clothes for boys in the styles I like, but I’m a total novice when it comes to girls.  So friends, please, teach me about little girl fashion!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fall LWTH Festivities Round-Up

Fall is a southerners reward for having survived summer :-)

Despite the temperatures, according to the calendar, last Wednesday was the first official day of fall!!!! My favorite ‘ember months and fall festivities can officially commence!  And by “officially” I mean that I can participate in public without guilt or public shaming lol

Last week Dutch and I decorated the house for fall and had a blast.  Today I want to dip into the LWTH archives to revisit some of YOUR favorite fall LWTH posts:

Fall 2013 Hawley Home Decor
Pine Cone Wreath

When the cooler whether strikes sometimes we have dryer skin, so here is an awesome skin scrub:
Monogram Fall Wreath
Organized Scarves
Fall 2011 Hawley Home Decor
Coffee Candles
Fall Swag DIYFall Swag

I can tell, and I’m sure you can too, from these pictures that some of those posts are from deep in the LWTH archives lol Oldies can still be goodies though, right?  Okay, it’s fall, and you have some suggestions to get you started so it’s time to celebrate fall! Happy Monday!
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