Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Vintage Pin Curls

There is a reason that vintage pin curls are still popular….they’re effective and awesome!  Pin curls are fantastic because they’re fast, easy, and don’t require heat (i.e. healthy option for your luscious locks).  With the holidays here, I know you’ve got your planners filled with parties and family get-togethers, and you need something to do with your hair super fast.

While I was getting ready for Thanksgiving this year I decided to snap a few shots to show you how to use pin curls for your own hair.  (To be honest I’m a little nervous to be posting some of these pictures, especially with my hair undone, so please pardon that lol)

Hair products I use, (left to right): hairspray, volumizing mousse, & volumizing spray (it’s Texas- I’ve got to have big hair)DSC_0835
When I first get out of the shower, I comb my hair and use a tennis ball sized amount of volumizing mousse.DSC_0826
Then I dry my hair upside down with a round brush, moving root to tip.  This is my everyday hair-do.  DSC_0839
For the pinning, you want to get some hair pins and a spray bottle of water.  You don't want to use bobby pins because they will leave weird little bumps in your hair.DSC_0830
Take small pieces of hair and wrap it around your fingers.  The smaller clump of hair you take, the tighter the curl will be; the larger the clump, the more wavy it will be.  Make sure to comb through each clump of hair before wrapping it around your fingers.DSC_0845
Once you’ve wrapped the clump of hair around your fingers, pin the clump to your head.DSC_0847DSC_0848
Keep going around your head, until you’ve pinned all of your hair up.  Then lightly spray, or mist rather, each curl with water.  Then wait for each curl to dry COMPLETELY.  At this point I went & made deviled eggs for Thanksgiving.  If this was a normal day I would have gotten dressed and done my makeup while the curls dried.  If you’re in a rush though, you can hit those curls with your hair dryer to really speed things along.DSC_0852DSC_0857
When every curl is completely dry & you take the pins out, this is what your hair will look like:DSC_0871DSC_0872
To make it more natural, run your fingers through the curls.  Don't use a brush/comb because it will get out of control (I promise; I’ve learned this the hard way.)  Then shoot your locks with your favorite moving hairspray.DSC_0875DSC_0876DSC_0882
Easy, right?  I love this method of curling my hair!  It’s so effective and the curls hold all day.  So if you’re wondering what to do with your hair this holiday season, or even just want to dress-up a regular day, try these awesome & classic pin curls :-)
xoxo Darby

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wedding Ornaments

Happy Monday Hawley Readers!
I hope you had the best Thanksgiving ever!  Did you eat more than you should have? I certainly did!
Well in case you’re behind, there are only 27 days left until Christmas! Ahhhh!!!
It’s time to spring into full-on Christmas mode.
See this?DSC_0697 Wanna know more?
Come check out my tutorial today over at Type A Decorating.  Make sure you check out Tammy’s blog and leave her some bloggy love.
Have a great week!
xoxo Darby

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pumpkin Krispy Treats

I’ve been throwing pumpkins at you all week.  Are you tired of pumpkin ideas and recipes yet?  I know I say they’re all awesome, but they really are lol

I love this treat because it doesn’t even require turning on the oven it returns me to my youth.  These pumpkin flavored rice krispie treats are TO. DIE. FOR!  I couldn’t keep my fingers out of the pan!
Over low-medium heat, melt 1 stick of butter.  Keep a close eye on your butter so that it doesn’t burn, but once it starts to turn a little brown, stir in 1 tsp of pumpkin spice & a 10.5 oz bag of mini marshmallows (we call ‘em “mallows”).  When the mallow is all melted, remove from the heat and stir in 6 cups of rice krispies (generic brand works just fine).  Stir everything so that the krispies are incorporated but be careful not to break them.  Pour the rice krispies into a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Grease some wax paper and press down on the krispies so that you have a flat surface.  Let those delicious smelling krispies cool for 30 minutes (if you can wait 30 minutes I will be shocked).  DSC_0143After they cool you can simply cut them up  into squares to serve, or you can take cookie cutters to make your rice krispies a little more festive.  I cut mine into pumpkins.DSC_0138DSC_0147
I’m embarrassed to say how quickly these left our house, so dig in and enjoy these delicious treats! 
Hope you’re having a great Thanksgiving weekend!
xoxo Darby

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

A couple weeks ago I was a guest at Confessions of a Southern Socialite.  I absolutely adore Joy and am confident that you will too (Go check her out!).  Anyways, in case you missed my post and are brainstorming about what to make for breakfast over the Thanksgiving weekend, I recommend these babies.
This is a special recipe in our house during the holiday season.  Family, friends, and my husband beg me to make them all the time.  I cook these mini pumpkin muffins so many times throughout October & November that I’ve practically memorized the recipe.  Personally I think these little gems are delicious, but they are also so pretty and festive.  My husband and I love these muffins with our coffee in the morning. hmmmmmm just thinking about that makes me crave them.  This recipe was originally for Pumpkin Spice Cake (by Better Homes), but I’ve adapted it to work for muffins.  The pan I use is from Pampered Chef, and I think it’s been discontinued, but it looks very similar to this one from William-Sonoma. img65b Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (As a staple in my baking I only use Libby's Pumpkin)
vanilla icing (I buy mine and then dye it myself)
1.      Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile grease and flour pan and set aside.  In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves and ginger; set aside.
2.      In a mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on a medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined.  Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  In a separate small bowl, mix together butter and canned pumpkin.  Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk-pumpkin mixture to butter mixture, beating on a low speed after each addition just until combined.  Pour into prepared pans, only filing cups halfway. 
3.      Bake in a preheated over at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before trying to take out of the pan and then allow to cool for an additional 30 minutes before trying to frost or glaze.
I made these around Halloween and added a plastic rat because I was trying to be spooky :-)  DSC00449
I hope you all enjoy these festive muffins as much as we do!  Thank you so much Joy for having me, and Hawley Readers, if you have not met Joy yet, make it a point to hop over and meet her :-)
*Happy Thanksgiving*
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Cream Cheese

I’ve got an absolutely scrumptious recipe to share with you instead of my typical What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday series.  This would be a perfect breakfast treat for this Thanksgiving weekend.
In a medium bowl, mix together 8oz soften cream cheese (low fat works great), 1/2 cup of pure pumpkin pure, 1.5 tsp all spice, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 tsp light brown sugar, dash of salt, and 2 tsp sugar.  DSC_0128
Serve on a bagel or english muffin.DSC_0137
xoxo Darby

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Favors: Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup

If you are going to be eating Thanksgiving with the Hawleys this year, this is the favor I will be sending you home with.  I think our Thanksgiving guests are starting to expect this favor each year.  Since I can’t fit all of our lovely readers around our table (though of course, I wish I could), I thought I’d still send you the recipe for my favors so you can enjoy it as well.
Mix 3/4 cups water & 3/4 cups sugar together over medium heat; cooking until the sugar has completely dissolved.DSC_0671
Then add in 1/2 tbs cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1.5 tbs pure pumpkin puree.  Whisk together all of ingredients frequently for about 5 minutes, making sure not to let the syrup come to a boil.DSC_0674
At this point you could strain the syrup into your glass jars with a cheesecloth.  I don't do this because I like to see the spices.  Somehow it makes it feel more festive to me.
You can either serve some coffee right away with the pumpkin spice syrup or store it in the refrigerator for later (making sure to shake before using).  This is what my guests will be receiving this year at Thanksgiving :-)DSC_0676DSC_0688DSC_0691
I tried to wait until Thanksgiving to dive into my personal stash, but I failed, miserably, and actually had some with my coffee yesterday morning.  It was so delicious that I don’t even feel guilty about not waiting lol
So in case you need some favor ideas, or you just want to add this as a treat with your coffee and pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, I highly recommend this recipe!
       *Happy Thanksgiving!*
xoxo Darby

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Centerpiece

I have seen these pumpkin centerpieces for years, and I love them every time I see them.  But this year when I saw one in Southern Living I said “This is the Year”!  If you have not yet prepared your centerpiece for Thanksgiving, I recommend giving this a whirl!Pumpkin Centerpeice
Since I still had pumpkins leftover from Halloween, all I needed to do was buy some seasonal flowers.  First, hallow out the pumpkin and place some florist foam (that has been soaked in water) into the pumpkin.  If you’re foam is a little too big, it’s easy to cut so that you have the perfect fit.Prep the pumpkin
Then just start sticking your flowers into the foam, starting in the middle of the foam and working your way out to the edges.  I recommend putting your taller flowers in the middle and the shorter flowers on the sides.  Also if you’re using this for a centerpiece, a) make sure the pumpkin isn’t so big that you don’t have enough space on the table for food, and b) make sure your flowers aren't too tall- you want to be able to see the people you’re eating dinner with.arrange flowers
Easy centerpiece, right?  I don’t know why I have waited this long to try this. It’s easy, cheap, smells great, and a fabulously festive centerpiece for Thanksgiving!

xoxo Darby

Friday, November 18, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

Since getting my new camera, I’ve been reading a lot of websites and books and taking my Nikon class in my “free time” to get acquainted with my new toy.  Am I a photographer? No way!  But photography is something that I have always enjoyed and I wanted to further develop my skills.  Will I ever be professional? Absolutely not, nor is it something that I aspire to be.   I’m just a simple gal with a hobby in photography. 

A couple weekends ago, the Mr took me around Houston so that I could practice.  I was really interested in practicing on my weak areas: lighting and angles.  Since it has been a while since I’ve shown you some progress pictures, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite pictures I took that weekend. Again, none of these pictures have been edited so that I can monitor how familiar I am getting with my new camera.
Things are finally starting to look alive in Houston…just in time for fall lolDSC_0249DSC_0214DSC_0215DSC_0308That’s Phil and Tomlin in the background.DSC_0222
I may be reading a bit much into this picture, but I feel like it’s definitely a metaphor for my life these days.  The Houston Medical Center, where I work, is in the background, but the focus is on the Mr :-)DSC_0237Stumbled upon a beautiful butterfly :-)DSC_0265DSC_0335DSC_0317Tomlin is getting pretty good with being my go-to model.  When I say “smile,” she looks right at the camera.  lolDSC_0301DSC_0359DSC_0383Those birds looked so peaceful & happy until Tomlin came along.  At least it gave me plenty of opportunities to work with “action” shots. Ha!DSC_0411DSC_0373 This church will always hold a special place in my heart.  Maybe I’ll share that story with y’all some day.DSC_0424
I feel like I’m getting more confident and imagining the picture better, but I definitely still have TONS to learn!
xoxo Darby
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