Monday, October 31, 2011

The Boys are Back in Town

I would be flat-out, bold-face, lying if I even pretended to be on top of things.  I’m constantly behind and scrambling to catch up; I hate being this way, but I have yet to figure out how to put the world on hold so I can catch-up.  So over the summer I wrote a lot of posts for this here bloggy-blog and it has gotten me through today, but now my post-cushion is exhausted.   wamp  wamp lol 

Now I’ve got to catch you up on things we’ve been doing for the past 2 months hahaha  oops!  At the beginning of September, Phil and I went back to the coast because one of our friends from college was getting married.  Because we don’t go home often (generally, once a year), we tried to cram as much into the weekend as possible  We didn’t sleep much, but we had a fabulous trip!

Late Thursday afternoon (after work), we flew into Washington, D.C. and drove to Richmond (my hometown…about an hour and a half away).  I had dinner with my sister and dad and Phil went and visited with some friends from college who he hadn’t seen since we got married. 

Friday morning we got up early and went to have lunch with my mom and then drove to VA Beach.  This drive would normally take 1 to 2 hours, but took us a little longer.  I insisted on stopping at the outlets (lol) so we ended up hitting some traffic near the tunnel (oops).  We went to VA Beach because that’s where the wedding was, but also where Phil’s brother lives.  Friday evening we had a great time visiting with Phil’s brother and fiance. 

Saturday, before the wedding, we went with Phil’s family to the beach.  It was gorgeous!!!  Nothing, like a TX beach! lol
Pretty beaches :-)DSC05894
What’s a day at the beach without a little frisbee? DSC05901
After our beach trip, we got ready for the wedding, reception, and after-party.  The wedding was…..spectacular.  No other word could describe how amazing this wedding was.  Phil played ball with the groom when we were in college and we were delighted to support him on the most special day of his life.  Every single detail had be thought of and was fabulous. 
Gorgeous center piecesDSC05912
One of the many ice sculpture bars with the bride and grooms logo.DSC05913
This was the dance floor—notice the logo in lights on the floor.  So pretty!DSC05916
We hadn’t seen most of the guests, our friends from college and guys from Phil’s bball team, since we graduated and got married.  It’s been years!  It was so much fun catching-up with them.  It’s amazing how everything was so “college” (that’s what we call it at RMC); so much has changed, yet so much was still exactly the same.  It was one of the best weddings/receptions/after-parties I have ever attended.  I think we got back to Phil’s brother’s house around 5am, and we were back on the road for our next stop at 5:45am (see, I told you this was an action-packed, college-style weekend hahaha)

On Sunday our next stop was Baltimore.  I got to visit with my bestie Katie (my bridesmaid from my wedding and my best friend in the entire world).  Phil met up with his friend (another baller) and went to the first NFL game of the season, the Steelers vs the Ravens (we seriously got our booties handed to us on a platter; it was horrible!).    We all met up for dinner and then we crashed for a few hours.
Me with Katie.  Being a Ravens fan, I’m surprised she agreed to take a picture with me in my jersey ;-)DSC05924b
  Phil said the best part of the game was before it started waaaa!DSC05932
On Monday we got up at 2am and drove to Washington DC to fly back to Houston.  We arrived back home we went to work, exhausted but glowing.  We had an amazing trip back home and seeing all of our family and friends. 
xoxo Darby

Friday, October 28, 2011

It’s Tradition :-)

Every time Phil and I go back home for the holidays, my father-in-law has a tradition of making us caramel popcorn.  I think he makes it for himself, and I just gobble up more than my fair share haha.  I can’t even apologize for how I shovel the stuff into my face; it’s just too good!

With the weather FINALLY starting to cool off in Houston, I made some caramel popcorn a couple weeks ago and wanted to share this Hawley tradition with you. 
This is what you need (looks like an advertisement for Kroger, right? lol)DSC06181
Mix 2 cups brown sugar, 2 sticks of butter, 1/2 cup light corn syrup, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp baking soda in a pan over medium heat.   DSC06185While the topping is heating, grease a 13x9 pan, and start popping the popcorn (3 bags of buttered microwave popcorn).  As the popcorn finishes, pour it into your greased pan (make sure to take out any un-popped kernels; the kernels will match the color of the caramel and it will hurt to bite down onto).  Resist eating the finished popcorn; if you can ;-) DSC06186 DSC06187When the topping starts boiling make sure that you stir frequently so that it doesn’t burn or boil over.  DSC06188When the topping is all melted and starts to get a fluffy texture (about 5-10 minutes), pour it over your popcorn.  Gently stir the popcorn and the caramel and put it into a 250 degree preheated oven for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.DSC06189
Once the popcorn is done, cover the counter top with wax paper and pour the popcorn into the wax paper.  Stir the popcorn to make sure every inch is covered in the delicious gooeyness.  At this point you can let it cool (if you have great discipline- I do not), and put it into a bowl.  I don’t put it in a bowl.  I don’t see the point in dirtying another dish, because I have every intension of grazing on this popcorn every time I walk by it for the rest of the day.DSC06190
      I’m certain you will love this popcorn, and that it will become a tradition in your home too :-) 

Hope you have a great Halloween weekend!
xoxo Darby

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wanna know more?

Wanna know more about this? DSC_0049
Of course you do!!!! 
I’m guest posting over at Total Basset Case
Please come by and say hello!
You’ve got to check out Sarah’s sweet pup Floyd. 
Total Basset Case
Thank you so much for having me Sarah and Floyd :-)
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Goody Spin Pins!

Remember a couple weeks ago when I shared the scarf video that my sister Kellyn recommended?  Well she has another a-m-a-z-i-n-g fashion tip for you.  I promise, you will love this one too!
Thanks Darby for letting me be a guest on your blog! I know the title is what YOUR lovin Wed, so I appreciate the guest invite!  I just had to pass this along to you and who knows it may end up being a "What I’M lovin Wed!"

I heard about these but I was skeptical! One time my friend told me about them. I told her “heck no” I have too much hair and especially with my type of hair (I have extremely unruly, curly hair) they would get SOOO tangled; I would never get them out. Well she proved me wrong and put my hair up in them.

I am always looking for new ways to style my ruthless, curly hair so I saw them in the store and figured what the heck, I’ll try them.
Introducing: Goody Spin Pins!Goody Spin Pins Spin Pins
I got the large dark brown ones. They have different sizes and colors. Yes, they are about $6, and you may be thinking $6 for bobby pins on steroids, that’s a bit much right!? But I promise it's worth it! I got to my hotel (because I travel for work) and tried them out and immediately was able to put up my hair; on the first try! I tried a bun, a messy bun, french twist, and a side bun. It actually held my hair and it felt tight enough and secure enough to shake my head back and forth. And that was it, just two pins and it was done! They were super easy to get in and out. It works just as easy for long, short, straight, or curly hair!

AND....when I was looking for the above pictures I found tons of websites and blogs with other hair styles and updos you can do with these nifty pins! There are simple instructions inside the box, but there are even youtube tutorials online to watch! It's never been easier to achieve those fancy updos or messy buns you always see celebrities sporting on the red carpet!

I use them for a nice updo for work, a night out on the town, and even to weddings! I even find myself using them instead of the classic alligator clip. Now, when I come home from a long day at work I use them to just throw up my hair so I am free to cook dinner, run errands, do things around the house and not have to worry about messing with my hair! Also, they are pretty fun to play with! Haha I find myself doing that from time to time.
So, try them out and I hope you like them as much as I do!
Well I took Kellyn’s fashion tip and here are a couple of styles I did super quickly (like all within 3 minutes).  
Messy bunDSC_0188
Half-up bunDSC_0196DSC_0202
Messy French TwistDSC_0203DSC_0209
Formal chignonDSC_0179
Messy chignonDSC_0215
You can do these styles too!  Take Kellyn’s advise and go get some Goody Spins!
xoxo Darby

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mom and Pup Time

Phil is off on a Core Chase again, for an unspecified amount of time :-(  He isn’t on an oil rig this time, but in some deserted area of Michigan.  I like this much better than a rig because at least I can get in contact with him.  But of course, I still don’t like him gone and I’m ready for him to come home.   This past weekend was the first weekend that he wasn’t at home so Miss Tomlin and I had to keep ourselves occupied.

On Saturday we got lattes and went to the dog park.  (She didn’t actually get a latte, just non-fat cream.)  When I drive by Starbucks and Tomlin sees the sign, she cries if I don’t stop to get her a treat.  This is proof that she is MY dog :-)  299796_551249180880_81900238_31374971_437924513_n
She played at the dog park for 2 hours and had a blast.  She was asleep before we even got home (which is less than a mile lol).    310838_551336316260_81900238_31375867_220922317_n
I went to a festival on Saturday while Tomlin was in her post-dogpark coma.  We had tickets to go, & even though Phil couldn’t go I still went because I enjoy the festival so much every year.  This is what I wore: my first time with skinny jeans.  I was petrified to wear them in public lol  If I look like I’ve been poured into them, please don’t tell me ;-) And, clearly, I need to clean my mirrors.DSC_0006
Saturday night I stayed up late stuffing my face with pizza working, and then Sunday morning Tomlin and I graded papers (i.e. I graded papers and Tomlin snored next to me—she’s very supportive).  DSC_0033 Tomlin also had another photoshoot on Sunday morning since I’m still learning our new camera and she’s such a perfect model :-)DSC_0245DSC_0223DSC_0224DSC_0011DSC_0023DSC_0038For the rest of the day I worked on the couch, football played in the background, and Tomlin snored some more next to me on the couch.315815_551336500890_81900238_31375874_84654405_n
It was a good weekend, but would have been much better with Phil at home.  Hurry up and come home hubby; we miss you!!!!
xoxo Darby

Monday, October 24, 2011

I don't like Jack-o-Lanterns

In case you didn't see my guest post a couple weeks ago at Crafty, Scrapy, Happy, I wanted to share it with you again. 
Fall is my favorite season; I wait all year for it.  And pumpkins, are my favorite part of fall.  I love the scent, the flavor, and decorating with them. 

Insert problem here: I’m 100% girly-girl!

So while I adore the festive look of a jack-o-lantern, I can promise you, you will never find me carving one.  For the same reason I don't like eating chicken wings, I just don't like to get dirty.  Yes, I know it’s easy to clean-up, but I’d prefer to use alternative ways to decorate with pumpkins.  So in case I’m not the only one out there (hopefully I'm not alone here), I’ve got some pumpkin decorating ideas that don’t require carving for you this autumn.
1. Adorn- You can add a happy touch to a pumpkin in so many ways.  Here are a some ideas, but don’t be scared to get creative: ric rac, tacks, jewels, flowers, and ribbonsAdorn AAdorn B 
2. Stack- Height always adds a nice touch & pumpkins are perfect tools for height.  Pumpkins can be turned into topiaries or used to stack candles on top of. Stacking makes for great centerpieces.Stack A
3. Paint- Without carving, you can still get really creative adding your own shimmery touch.  You could use paint to add your monogram, address, or a guest’s name for a place card.  Don’t just stick to regular paint; you could also use glitter  or chalkboard paint!Paint A
I can’t wait to hear how YOU have decorated your pumpkin this year!  Please go visit Jaime at Crafty, Scrapy, Happy for some more amazing ideas.  She's so creative and talented.  I know that you're going to love her!
xoxo Darby

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday is Football Day

Yep, Sunday is official Football Day in the Hawley house.

Everyone is on board too!DSC05823DSC05852DSC06025DSC06034

xoxo Darby

Friday, October 21, 2011

Do you like GiVeAwAyS?

Of course you do!!! 

We all *LOVE* giveaways!

More specifically, we all *LOVE* holiday giveaways!!!

And, who wouldn’t want to win this gorgeous, hand-crafted, and festive holiday wreath?!IMG_5605
This is your chance, visit LO Maintenance Living (a blog of a childhood friend of mine, Lauren) for details on how you could win this amazing holiday wreath!!!  She makes these gorgeous wreathS (for sale here), and is giving a holiday wreath away FREE!

This could be yours!!!!
Hurry!!!  You don’t have much time to enter this fabulous giveaway!
xoxo Darby

{{Pumpkin Chili}}

I’ve got to share this delicious (and super festive) recipe with you!  This chili has both turkey and pumpkin in it so it's more healthy, right? ;-)  Oh who cares! Here is my version of Pumpkin Chili:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
1 green bell pepper chopped 
3 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
3 lbs ground lean white meat turkey 
2 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
1 cup water 
2 tablespoon chili powder 
2 teaspoon ground cumin
sprinkle of cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (15-ounce) can dark kidney beans, rinsed
1 (15- oz) can white kidney beansDSC06145
Heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion, green pepper, jalapenos, & garlic.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Then add turkey and cook until brown.DSC06147
Throw everything else into the pan.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30  minutes.DSC06148
Fill your bowl, curl up with your sweetheart on the couch, & watch a movie.  DSC06153
This is so easy, tasty, and some what healthy.  I hope you enjoy this as much as we did :-)
xoxo Darby
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