Sunday, June 30, 2013

Submit a Prayer Request

I have been wanting to do this for a while & I decided that there was no sense in contemplating it anymore. 
Yes, this little blog of mine is a creative outlet for me, and yes being a blogger is full of food, crafts, & socializing with my buddies, which, don’t get me wrong, I totally l-o-v-e!  But blogging is really a lot more than that to me.
Before I became a blogger I was oblivious to the awesome blogging community that has become such an awesome source of encouragement and friendship in my life.  I’ve been blessed to be connected with other friends and I want to give back.  While I’ve had the chance to meet many of my blogging friends in person, obviously I can’t do that with every one of my blog friends because we are from all over the world.  So one way I can serve others is through prayer.  I want to use this blog as a way to serve others, to serve you and your prayer requests, for whatever has been placed on your heart, for the big things and the small things, for every joy and every storm you’re walking through.
Prayer Request Banner

You don’t have to log in or create a password, simply fill out the form below with your prayer request, and I will pray over your request.  I will keep this form active forever so you can update your prayer requests & submit more whenever you’d like. 

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions,
prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people”
1 Timothy 2:1

I will also post this button on my sidebar so that you will easily be able to access this page for future prayer requests.  I encourage you to grab the button for your own blog so that others can find this page and submit their requests as well.





That's all I've got for today.  
I am definitely looking forward to praying for you :-)
Happy Monday!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Chicken Noodle Soup: Old Classic, New Twist

A couple weeks ago the Mr. and I both had outpatient procedures (everyone is fine, no need to worry).  Because both of us were having our surgeries on the same day (because we’re CRA CRA) I knew I wouldn’t be able to cook and care for us both so I made a pot of soup.  Now I don’t like chicken noodle soup; never have and probably never will, so I’m not sure why I decided to make it.  I guess because of the preconceived notion that you’re supposed to eat it when you’re not feeling well? I don’t know, but I decided to make it and just add my own flare to it.  The Mr. said it was the best he’d ever had, and I tolerated it rather well so I decided I should probably write it down so I can make it for us again some time.  And what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t share the recipe with you?!  So here it is, my own new twist on the traditional chicken noodle soup.  It’s pretty easy and I didn’t have to purchase anything that I didn’t already have :-)
From the Kitchen of Darby HawleyChicken Noodle Soup
This was so good that I only got a picture with my phone.  It was gone before I could bust out my real camera
Ingredients:
Chicken breasts (I used about 5 from a frozen bag)
1 pkg of spicy ranch salad dressing mix (this is actually not really spicy, it’s more zesty)
veggie oil
3 tbs butter
3 tbs flour
4-6 cups of chicken broth/stock (I made mine from bouillon cubes)
1 pkg of tortellini (I used tri-color from 2 different kinds just because that is what I had)
salt, pepper, & parsley to taste

Directions:
  1. Marinate chicken in half of the spicy ranch mix package and veggie oil for a couple hours.  Then sauté over medium heat until cook and put to the side.
  2. Heat butter in a heavy pan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted add in the flour, stirring frequently until the flour begins to turn a dark golden brown (about 2-3 minutes).  Very slowly whisk in the chicken stock and then bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  This will start to be like a gravy (which is good because the soup will be creamy), and as you add in the stock the consistency will change to that of a creamy stew.  You made need to add in more flour to keep it thick but this is completely up to you.
  3. Add the tortellini to the creamy mixture and heat on low.  Add in the rest of the ranch mix, and season with salt, pepper, and parsley.  Once it cooks for about 3-4 minutes add in the cooked chicken and simmer on low until you’re ready to eat.
  4. Dig in!
Have a great weekend y'all!
Don't forget to enter my $50 Shabby Apple giveaway!
Your chances are looking good!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Birthday Girl

To Joy, who is more than sweet friend, but also a sister:
Happy Birthday!darby.joy
I’m so glad that our paths have crossed, and
I pray that you have a fabulous birthday and
that your next year is filled with many blessings!
Stop by and wish Joy a happy birthday!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Shabby Apple {{GIVEAWAY!}}

Shabby Apple is an online dress boutique that specializes in vintage and retro dresses. 
Click here to see the fabulous selection!
I am swooning over these vintage styles from Shabby Apple!
Here are some of my favorites for this summer.
I love the colors and the patterns; so fresh and summery!Shabby Apple Giveaway
I love this collection so much that I want one of you to go shopping too!!!!
Enter below for your chance to win $50 at Shabby Apple!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 24, 2013

50 Calorie Breakfast Frappuccino

My 400 trillion year old blender finally died. 
It was a sad day.
I cried.
Don’t tell anyone.
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So the Mr. bought me a new one.
Happy dance!!!!!2709c17ac62a11e294dc22000ae913c2_7

In honor of my new kitchen gadget, I thought I would try some new recipes :-)
Thus this 50 calories breakfast frappuccino.
YUM-O!!!!From the Kitchen of Darby HawleyDSC_0058-3
Ingredients & Directions:
1 cup coffee, brewed
1/2 cup of soy milk (I use light soy milk with vanilla flavor)
1 banana
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cup of ice
Blend all ingredients together and serve cold.
Drink up!
While it may seem like this is an advertisement for Starbucks, it ain’t! 
You can do this at home!
DSC_0056-2Y’all have to try this! 
It’s the perfect way to start the day tasty without hurting your diet!
Happy Monday!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Perfectly Imperfect Terra Cotta

You may have noticed that I distress almost every DIY project around here.  I’m not sure why I do this exactly, but I do know that there is something about how the imperfection looks so beautiful to me…..very much like people ;-) None of us are even close to perfect, yet somehow that makes us so beautiful.  Woah, I did not foresee me getting that deep with a craft project, but oh well that is what I was thinking, so I thought I would share a little deep thought with you lol  I guess I just love the look of imperfection…perhaps I find it comforting.

Okay so back to the project at hand, and distressing.  When we moved in, the previous owners left some terra cotta pots so I decided to distress some and bring them inside.
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I took a terra cotta pot, and hosed it off outside.DSC_0198-2

When it dried (which as you know in Houston, does not take long) I painted it white with a primer + paint spray paint.DSC_0002-2
When the paint dried, I took some sand paper and kind of haphazardly scuffed up the terra cotta pot.  There wasn’t any real pattern; I just tried to make it look beat up and old.DSC_0245-2
I added a box wood plant and
TADA!!!!!!DSC_0004-2DSC_0009-2DSC_0012-2

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!
I always enjoy live plants inside, so I think this adds a nice touch to the buffet in the dining area.
What do you think?
Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Baking Measurements

It’s no secret I like to cook. 
I really enjoy creating something yummy in the kitchen. 
Having fun tools are an essential part of the process for me.
Yes, function is the most important, but if you can have fun with your functionality…..then you must!
I recently posted about my kitchen command center, and there were a lot of questions about my measuring cups.  Collage 1
I have had these measuring cups for a couple years now, but now I’m looking at some new ones, and here are some of my favorites:
Collage 1Aren’t these berries so cute for the summer?!
Berry Measuring Cups & Spoons

Collage 2

What do you think?
Which are your favorites?
Where do you like to shop for kitchen gadgets?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monster Weekend

You know those weekends that are so crazy that when it’s over you have no idea what you did? That is what kind of weekend we had.  I was trying to think about what I had for lunch yesterday and couldn’t even remember!  Well we had a monster weekend…and did everything possible I think lol

Friday night was the calm before the storm, and possibly where we stored up all our energy for the next two days.  We ate and watched Problem Child (a “classic” from the 90’s hehe) and passed out.  Our Friday nights used to be so much more exciting.  I think this is a sign that we are getting closer to 40. Womp womp!

Looking back, I’m not even sure where Saturday ended and Sunday began; it was a whirlwind.  This is what went down, we: went to HEB, Wal-Mart, Costco, Lowes (twice), cut the grass, made banana bread, finished sewing some bunting for a friend (tutorial to come), a 3 hour nature walk, laundered clothes & linens (and actually put them away.  This is the hardest part for me), finished our headboard, added on posts for the footboard, made shelves for a closet in the office, cut & painted a back to the desk, vacuumed, dishes (of course), cleaned all of the ceiling fans, cleaned all spider webs from the corners, packaged my dried herbs for the winter, learned how to drive the Mr.’s new truck, ironed, got more puppy food, gave the Mr. his father’s day gift from the puppies, bottled, dusted, replaced a shower curtain liner, watched Looper and Elf, buffed all the stainless steel appliances, and shined all of the granite.

Phew!  See what I mean?!  I don’t think my week will even be that productive lol

Well, since we were busy, I thought I would take some time time to answer some get to know you questions that my dear friend Joy tagged me in :-)  If you don’t know Joy you have to go get to know her; she’s super sweet!

1. Out of the 24 hours in a day, what is your favorite time on the clock and why? I don’t know what it is about even numbers, but I really like them lol  So anytime the clock has an even number I’m happy. 

2. What is your favorite magazine to get in the mail or buy in the store? I absolutely love my Food Network subscription.  My best friend from college, who was also in my wedding, got it for me one year for Christmas, and every year she renews it for me.  I love all of the recipes and kitchen tricks that I learn from it. 

3. Twitter or Facebook?  I think it depends for me; I think I have social media phases. lol Sometimes I prefer Facebook, and others I prefer Twitter.  For FB I think I participate less and follow more, where as it’s the opposite for Twitter.  I post more on Twitter but don’t follow as well.  I guess if I can’t be good at one I’ll half-it on two ;-)

4. What's your best memory of high school? In HS I really enjoyed the extra activities.  I was captain of the dance team (I was also captain of my college dance team) and I was in show choir.  I just loved to sing and dance, and have very fond memories from those times.  I occasionally pop in a VHS (yes, I still have these from those days) to watch old performances.

5. What's your go to website for shopping? Oh wow, definitely Amazon.  I love it!!!! I love getting used books from there!  I don’t think a week passes where I don’t purchase something from there. (I hope the Mr. isn't reading this lol)

6. A blogger who inspires you?  I know this is going to make me sound like a “brown noser” but I really am inspired by Joy.  She encourages me to be a better Christian, woman, wife, and blogger. 

7. Who is your celebrity crush? Ok I’ll be honest, this crush started for me back in ‘97 and it still exists.  I still think Leonardo DiCaprio is fabulous!  He is the total package: attractive & talented!

8. What's a book you'd recommend to read? Well I’m in the middle of a big stack of summer reading books, but of the two I’ve read most recently I would recommend Mrs. Perfect by Jane Porter.  It’s supposed to be a fun and easy read, but it really made me reflect on some of my perfectionist tendencies.  I wrote about it more here if you’re interested.

9. A favorite recipe you love to make? I love to cook everything, but I will narrow it down to 2 things (kind of).  I love to make mashed potatoes, because, duh, they’re delicious.  But I also love to make baked goods…..so I can lick the mixing beaters.  Yes, I still eat it super excited like a child.  No, I don’t care that it’s raw.  Don’t hate.

10. Your favorite app on your phone? Right now I think it’s My Fitness Pal.  I’ve been trying to lose the weight I gained in grad school, still!  This is helpful because I can count my calories….well actually it counts them for me.

11. You've got an afternoon kid free and job free, what would you do?  You know I probably wouldn’t do too much different, because I really enjoy my life.  I would probably hang around the house with my puppies and cook for my hubby when he gets home.  Call me simple, but I just really enjoy doing those things and find it relaxing.

12. The restaurant you always crave? Ha!  This is funny!  I couldn’t think of something that I crave, so I asked the Mr. and he said, “You never know what you want!” hahahaha ok since I never know what I want I will tell you some of my favorites: I love pizza, chips and salsa, burritos, French everything, chocolate, cheese, and carbs…….ok can you see why I have to have my favorite app in #10?!?!?!  I’m out of control lol
And because it’s a blogging sin to post without pictures, here are some pictures for you lol
8f6a439ff064be369b6895ae943c0c4aa67b697abddb0b1b618fe88189c68d23e14f3fbfd818f01332e15f5f78a27b0cb434305047204aac47e82334a4666ec8
Hope y’all have a great Monday!

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Welcome Door

cd133576bb2f11e1a39b1231381b7ba1_7
A couple weeks ago I showed you how Louisa (my Silhouette Cameo) updated my mixer in the kitchen (see tutorial here). Everyone loves a little monogram :-)
Every time I see it I do a little happy dance!
DSC_0185-3
Louisa got a little crazy and decided to add some flair to our front door.
Sidebar- I love it when she gets all crazy & crafty!
Just to recap, this was our original front door and then after I painted it black.Door Collage
and made a cheap spring wreath.....
....and more monogram.
Obsessed much Darby?!
DSC_0112-2
To add a little more flair to our “warm bungalow” Louisa made a “Welcome” sign using a glossy white vinyl and a Champagne font.
Using the exact same steps that I used to make my mixer (obviously with different verbiage & font), I made Louisa made a small “Welcome” addition to the front door.Collage 1-2DSC_0192DSC_0195DSC_0193-2
It’s just a little touch added to the front door.
So what do you think? 
Welcoming?
What else should I turn Louisa loose on?
I hope y'all have a great weekend!  I think hubs and I are going to have a quiet summer weekend at home.  Maybe some Redbox movies and grilling out, but nothing too taxing :-)
What are y'all up to?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Yummy Chicken & Waffles

Remember how I mentioned that I needed to join W.A.?
W.A. –> Waffles Anonymous
Well, the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?
ehhh who cares, I love me some waffles and I’m gunna keep eatin’ 'emFrom the Kitchen of Darby Hawley
I think everyone in the south has heard of chicken & waffles, but everyone needs to know of the deliciousness.  I have had them before, but this was the first time I have made them in my own kitchen.  You could fry your own chicken if you want, but I didn’t want to because I was overwhelmed by all of the steps: something could be cold and something could burn.  So I decided to do oven-fried chicken instead, so I could get the chicken in the oven while I prepared everything else. If you go in the order I've given you below you can’t go wrong!  Don’t be scared y’all YOU.CAN.DO.IT!
Nothing will burn and everything will be ready at about the same time!DSC_0117-3

Oven-Fried Chicken
Ingredients
2 cup buttermilk
2 large egg beaten
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp black pepper
1.5 tsp chili powder
1.5 tsp paprika

Directions
Whisk buttermilk and egg whites in a bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  Preheat oven to 425°F. Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil (this will make cleanup easier on you).  Spray the top lightly with cooking spray.  In a gallon ziplock bag add flour, salt, pepper, chili powder, & paprika; shake to mix.  Place one chicken breast at a time in the flour bag and shake to coat, then lightly shake of the extra flour mixture and place it on your broiler pan.  Repeat with all chicken.  Lightly spray the finished and floured chicken on your broiler pan with your cooking spray.  Bake at 425°F for 30 minutes, then turn the pan and bake 20 minutes longer, or until chicken is brown and crispy.Collage 1
“Maple Gravy”
Ingredients
3 tbs butter    
3 tbs all-purpose flour
1-3/4 cups chicken stock (or 2 cups water with 2 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Directions
Heat butter in a heavy pan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted add in the flour, stirring frequently until the flour begins to turn a dark golden brown (about 2-3 minutes).  Very slowly whisk in the chicken stock and then bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  The gravy will begin to thicken, and after about 10 minutes season with salt and pepper.  At this point this is just regular gravy, right? So to make this gravy appropriate for this dish, stir in the maple syrup.  Reduce the heat to low while you make the waffles.Collage 2
Buttermilk Waffles
Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs

Directions
Preheat the waffle iron to medium-high heat.  In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; then set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, butter, vanilla and eggs.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the buttermilk mixture, and stir the ingredients just until they are combined.  You don’t want to over mix the batter; the batter should still be a little lumpy.  Spray preheated waffle iron with cooking spray then pour about a cup of the batter into the middle of the waffle iron and close the top.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or just until they are golden brown.  If you finish the waffles before the chicken is done, just put them in the oven with the chicken until it’s done then pull it all out and serve together: waffles topped with chicken and smothered in that delicious gravy!Collage 3DSC_0108-2DSC_0110-2DSC_0112-2DSC_0120-2DSC_0124-2DSC_0117-3
Enjoy y'all!!!
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