Friday, July 29, 2011


Yep, that’s right! For the first time ever I’ve been invited to guest post on another blog.  I am so honored and giddy!  When the talented sisters from Everyday Easy invited me I squealed so loud that Phil almost lost his hearing :-)  (Sorry about the Phil)
Hop over and check out Everyday Easy and my Love Affair with a Cast Iron Skillet.
Everyday Easy
Thank you ladies for featuring me :-)
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Changes

Hey Hawley Readers!  Hope you’re having a great week so far.  Can you believe it’s Wednesday already?!  It seems like each new week goes faster and faster.  Some say this means I’m getting old.  Nope; I don’t think so!  I think it means I am just loving life :-)

Ok enough rambling!  I just wanted to point out some new things going on with our blog these days.  After 3 years of blogging I finally put in an “About” page.  Wahoo!  Took me long enough, right?!  You can find this as the second tab in the navigation bar at the top.Navigation Bar
Since I put in a navigation bar, I thought I might as well keep going.  I also added a tab at the top where you can easily find the tutorials that I have written.  This includes DIY projects and recipes.  I hope this makes navigating this here blog a little easier for ya.

Also I made a button for our blog so if you’re following us and would like our button, go ahead and grab the html code.   It’s yours for *FREE*Blog Button- 150x150
So those are the latest housekeeping updates for ya.  Hope you’re having a great week!  Get excited because next week is the first week in August and we have some great surprises for you!

Love y’all!
xoxo Darby

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Naps with Tomlin

I just love snugglin’ up on the couch and falling asleep with Little ‘T’. 

I love to listen to her little snore, and I love the way she sleeps with her tongue poking out. 

I think I could spend all day sleeping on the couch with her.  DSC05596

I sure do love that little pup :-)

xoxo Darby

Monday, July 25, 2011

Picture Perfect Picnic: Finishing Touches

I hope that you have enjoyed the Picture Perfect Picnic series.  If you have missed any posts you can catch up here, here, and here.  Today is the last day of this series :-( and we need to wrap up our picnics with the finishing touches.

Considering how hot July is you will certainly need a cold and refreshing drink outside.  My votes are sweet tea or lemonade! Capture52959211_qGEQ4OaC_c

If you have time, you could put a square of chalkboard paint on each person’s glass and write their name on it.  52958110_DItIMIga_c

Whether you’re picnicing at a park where there will be picnic tables, or you will be picnicing in the grass, you will need a tablecloth or a blanket.  If you know how to sew, unlike me, you could probably make your own picnic blanket.62185329_Ak1mhKWi_c

Another really clever and cute way to decorate and cover your table is by sewing several bandanas together for a colorful table runner. To be honest, I like this idea enough to make one for eating outside, even when we aren’t going out for a picnic.  Cute idea for an outdoor summer dinner party, right?58083660_AHUMoJnm_c

If you make your blanket/tablecloth/table runner, I found this idea and thought it was spectacular: sew in pockets to slip weights (e.g. rocks) into the corners so that your tablecloth/blanket wont blow way in the wind.62185895_FJP6H367_c

For some picnic-friendly napkins you can wrap your napkins with bandanas for napkin rings, or simply wrap your utensils up in a bandana.58083595_tpYJFWSV_c62184280_Drp5hJz9_c

This is cute idea for a children’s picnic (or for the child-at-heart): instead of using a napkin ring, twist a candy necklace around your napkins.52258882_Lciejai1_c

I like the idea of putting each persons utensil and napkin in their cup54282698_HCo4e9ZZ_c

What’s a picnic without watermelon? No picnic at all!  But, a picnic with watermelon on a stick? That’s a real picnic :-) Slice up your watermelon and put on a popsicle stick for a sweet picnic snack.55867676_qO1jEcDt_c

And finally, some other things to bring on your picnic:

Bugspray- This is especially important if you’re near the woods or near water.  You don’t want to get chewed up.bugspray

Sunscreen- It can be really hot out there so make sure you protect your skin :-) sunscreen

Candles-  These could be used if your having a date with your sweetie, or simply citronella candles to help keep the bugs away.46938584_d7gEtOYB_c

Games- Before or after lunch you could play bocce ball, scrabble, mancala, frisbee, or checkers.  This is a simple canvas checker board with bottle caps as markers.  This would be really light weight on your trek out to the picnic site.62405841_gS5oGPhc_c

Here are a few items that I always seem to forget on our picnics (even though it seems like common sense to bring): paper towels, corkscrew, condiments, an extra empty bag for trash, and a lighter if you bring candles.

So now you should have your stylish picnic basket, a delicious lunch, a sweet and tempting treat, and all the finishing touches for a scrumptious and perfect picnic.  I hope you have enjoyed this series as much as I have and have been inspired for many summer picnics.  I can’t wait to hear all about your outdoor adventures this summer :-)

xoxo Darby

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ruffled Lamp Shade Tutorial

In March Dear Lilly posted a fabulous tutorial on how to make a ruffled lamp shade.  Isn’t hers so beautiful?!hDSC_0029
I was so inspired I started on my own right away, then the Hawley house got a little busy and I never got to finish.  Well a couple weeks ago I was home with a sick puppy (who is fine now, thank goodness) and finally finished my lamp shade. 
This is the lamp on the corner of my desk before I transformed it.DSC05554
Materials needed: lamp shade (I purchased an extra one in case I totally botched the project and wanted the original back), needle and thread, scissors, fabric, hot glue gun.DSC05557
You always need a craft assistant… is mine.  Isn’t she the cutest?!  :-)DSC05559
Remove any extra material on the lamp shade.DSC05561
Cut out long pieces of fabric, as wide or as thin as you like.  Cut the stripes of fabric longer than you think because obviously it will get shorter when you make the ruffles.  If you cut the fabric too short and don’t realize it until you are gluing the ruffles onto the lamp shade, just add more fabric to the end of the ruffles.  No big deal, I did this with all three ruffles.DSC05562
You could use a sewing machine with the ruffle setting for the next step, but if you don’t have one, like me, then you’re totally fine.  Make stitches, close together, down the middle of the fabric.  DSC05576
Once you get to the end of the fabric, push it down so that it gathers into ruffles.  You can make your ruffles as tight or as loose as you like.DSC05564
Before you tie off the thread, wrap the ruffle around the lamp to make sure that the ruffle will reach all the way around the lamp shade.  If it doesn’t, simply add more fabric until you do.  Then using your glue gun, make a few dots around the shade to secure the ruffles into place.  You don’t need a lot of glue here, so don’t go glue-crazy.  DSC05569
Then repeat as many times as you need to cover your lamp shade.
Here is my new feminine ruffled lamp shade.  DSC05581
What do you think? Easy enough, right?
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Summer Popsicles

59297328_gfCstBL0_cDon’t you just *love* popsicles in the summer time? They are so refreshing and cold. 


I thought this was a great idea to help control the stickiness associated with popsicles in the summer: slip a cupcake liner on the popsicle stick to catch the drips.  Easy enough, right?59295546_OhjGUDqh_c

sources: via-via-via-via-via-via-via-

I love lime or strawberry popsicles, and the kind with real fruit inside.  What is your favorite summer popsicle treat?

xoxo Darby

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Family Photo Competition

The Hawley family Reunion is coming up this month in Nebraska.  No, Phil and I are not from Nebraska.  Phil's parents were born and raised there and the rest of the family is still there, so that's where the reunion will be (Go Huskies).  Unfortunately we wont be able to attend because we don't have enough vacation days.  If we go now then we don't get we have to pick our battles.  However, even though we can't physically be there, we are still allowed to participate in one of the activities, the photo competition.  I'm so glad that we can still be there and visit with our family even though we aren't physically there.  Here are the photos that we entered in each category:

Animals- Our precious Tomlin :-)  I think this picture makes her look like a bobble-head.  Animals

Humor: Our nephew making faces at us through the glass doors to outside.  This picture always cracks me up!Humor

Plants: A bloom on one of our tomato plants.   We chose this one because we like the depth and color.  It’s also neat that we can see the little fuzzes too.Plants

Portraits: We have not had our picture taken in a long time, and I didn’t notice this until I started looking for a portrait of us for this category.  This was as close to a portrait as I could get.Portrait

Digitally Enhanced: Tomlin looking at me…shaking a bag of treats ;-)  Doesn’t she sit so pretty when she wants something?Digitally Enhanced

We’re not even close to professional.  Think we have a chance?

xoxo Darby

Monday, July 18, 2011

Picture Perfect Picnic: Sweet Tooth

For the past couple weeks I have been talking about picnics.  So far, we have shopped for picnic baskets, and cooked our lunch.  Now we need to finish lunch with a sweet treat :-)

It’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth.  I can’t resist sugar.  In fact, I don’t even want to.  To be honest, I go to the gym just so I can have my sweet guilty pleasure.  So let’s look at some yummy and easy treats to take with you on your picnic. 

I think rice krispy treats are so fun and perfect for a picnic.  Here are some awesome twists on the traditional rice krispy.

Cookies and Cream Rice Krispy Treats56820973_yHCzMCxQ_c

Rice Krispies on a stick, dipped in delicious chocolate.56822428_EPa6kPRm_c

Rice Kripies on a popsicle stick, dipped in chocolate and covered in colorful sprinkles.56822267_HNFdtSz5_c

Trix Krispy Treats59455084_v4ktCPP8_c

Aren’t these Nutter Butter cookies so summery? Easy and cute for a summer picnic.52545814_XF1LMD8W_c

I love mason jars, as we all know, and I think they are the perfect accessory for a picnic.  Last week we put side dishes in them.  This week we can use mason jars for our sweet treats.

Vanilla or chocolate cupcakes in a mason jar59471468_0cT46oSE_c59471583_afffj4l1_c

Orange creamsicle cupcakes in a jar61127796_WpLZbw5z_c

Red velvet cupcakes in a jar47474252_jwA4KQ1r_c

Cheesecake in a jar47476779_3kOGguFj_c

Blueberry star pie in a mason jar47476515_FsLWE4qa_c

Apple pie in a mason jar59470196_U6AON4QQ_c

Ok I guess that is enough sugar viewing for one day, right?  Do you have a couple sweet treat ideas now to help you with your picnic? If you find some other ideas, please pass them my way.  I never turn down dessert :-)

xoxo Darby
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