Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fridge Goals

Am I the only one that calls it a fridge? The Mr always corrects me, saying that the appliance is a re-fridg-er-a-tor. yea yea yea I blame his yankee roots!

Anyways, since we’ve been married we have always put our goals for the year, (sidebar- goals are different from resolutions, I think?) on the fridge (or refrigerator).  This year was no different.  Even though it’s past New Years, it’s still January so I wanted to share with you  how we’ve reminded ourselves of our goals on the fridge.  We broke our goals up into 4 major categories: Spiritual, Mental, Physical, and Financial.
What reminders have you put into place to help refresh your memory of your goals throughout the year?
xoxo Darby

Monday, January 30, 2012

Book Swap

This month I participated in a book swap over with Heather at Blonde…..Undercover Blonde.  I was paired up with someone I didn’t know and given a $15 limit for a book and had to send the book by 1/20.  It has been SO much fun to be paired up with my partner, Becca, and shop for the perfect book for her (If you’ve never been to her blog, you really *must*; she is awesome!)

Based on some of the books that Becca told me were her favorites, I selected a memoir that I read in the spring of 2010 (I read a review of it in People while getting a pedicure so I ordered it right there- thank goodness for smart phones.)  I sent Becca Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman.  I reviewed the book here, but in short, this woman’s story provides a lot of insight on our judicial system, prison life, and Martha Stewart (weird combination right? lol)  Anyways if you have not read this book, I highly recommend it!  I hope Becca likes it too. orangeisthenewblack325
I am extra lucky, because Becca spoiled me!  She sent me TWO books!  Obviously I have not read them yet, because I just received them, but I’m definitely looking forward to diving into these:
Thank you so much for spoiling me Becca!!!!  Seriously, y’all, go check out her blog!
Have any of you read these books?
What are you currently reading that you would recommend to Becca and me?
xoxo Darby

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Like all those acronyms?! Ha!

I just wanted to let you know that LWTH is now on Facebook!!!

Wahooo we’re finally in the current century!

We’d love if you follow us on Facebook by either clicking "the “Facebook” icon in this post, or by clicking the same icon, anytime, on the right panel, and then “like” our page!
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Thanks for being such awesome followers!!! Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend :-)
xoxo Darby

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Sandwich Story

You might find this a bit odd, but it’s absolutely true.  On Monday I shared with you that Phil and I went to Philly for our 4-year anniversary in January.  Well it wasn’t just an on-a-whim trip, there was a background story to this trip. 

I had NEVER had a philly cheese steak.

That’s right, never!  I don’t know when I decided this, but at some point in my life I decided that the first time I tried a philly cheese steak was going to be in Philly.  I mean that makes perfect sense to me.  I didn’t care how long it took, or if it never got done, but if I was going to have one, then I was going to wait until I could have the original.  Phil decided 27 years was way too long to wait for this and rushed me to Philly as an anniversary get-away (and since we were going to be on the east coast anyways, he easily penciled it into our vacation- he’s a very clever man).  So while, yes we were going for our anniversary, we were also going to stuff our faces.  haha  Phil did a lot of research and prepared for me my very own personal philly cheese steak tour.  I had 3 of these babies in less than 24 hours; I was waddling by the end! lol

First thing I had to learn was how to order.  This is a BIG deal.  If you’ve ever seen Seinfeld’s “Soup Natzi” it was exactly like that: say what you want and step to the side.   You either say with “wit” or without “wit-out” onions, and then what type of cheese: plain, wiz, provolone, American, or pizza.  DSC_0307
Now the cheese is another big deal.  The original philly cheese steak was made by two brothers.  Eventually there was a huge disagreement on the type of cheese, and the fight was so big that the brothers separated.  They now are exactly across the street from each other: Geno’s and Pat's.  Pat thought wiz was the only way to go, but Geno thought other forms of cheese were ok as well.  Now both restaurants serve both, but this is how the original restaurant became 2 restaurants.  SO of course I had to have both to really compare ;-)  Wiz is the popular & traditional cheese choice though.
This is Geno’s and I had: 1 steak wit-out, and wiz.DSC_0303DSC_0301
Then Phil & I walked across the street to Pat’s and ordered the same thing, plus one steak wit and provolone.DSC_0300DSC_0308DSC_0310
Then the text day we went to Jim’s Steaks.  Jim’s does not claim to be the original philly cheese steak; instead, they claim to be the BEST.  For comparison, I again ordered one steak wit-out, and wiz.DSC_0378DSC_0374
After 3 of these monster sandwiches it was time to compare.  They all cost exactly $9 so that didn’t factor into the equation for me.  Phil and I both agreed that Jim’s was in fact the best, followed but Pat’s and then Geno’s.  The flavor and thickness of the meat and the consistency of the wiz was absolutely perfect at Jim’s; it was so delicious.  This was such a fun trip, and it was so fun to have our own personal taste-testing challenge!  If you have not done this, I highly recommend it! It was definitely worth the 27 year wait :-)
xoxo Darby

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I was Tagged!

Joy from Confessions of a Socialite tagged me, so of course I’m passing this along!
The rules:
1. post the rules
2. post 11 fun facts about yourself
3. answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 11 new questions for the people you tag
4. tag 11 people and link them in your post
5. let them know you’ve “tagged” them

11 fun or random facts about yours truly :-)
1. My husband is truly the love of my life.  I still get butterflies when I see him (insert stilly goofy blushing smile here)
2.I drop the bar of soap every morning in the shower.  It does not matter how hard I try not to.
3.  Every Tuesday I laugh hysterically at Lifetime’s Dance Moms
4. Bacon makes me smile.
5. I love sweet tea.
6. I have lived in Houston, TX for almost 5 years.
7. I have 2 puppies that I’m completely smitten with.
8. Chocolate is my favorite food group
9. I’m sad when football season ends
10.  I never eat food that looks like it could be messy.  This includes wings, crabs, etc.  This means, yes, I eat pizza with a fork.  My hubby also spoils me and picks the chicken and crab so I can eat it with a fork.  I’m weird, and I love him :-)
11. My favorite store, currently, is Hobby Lobby.

Questions from Joy for me to Answer:
1. What was the best part of 2011 for you?   There was a lot of personal growth for me in 2011 and while it may have seemed difficult at the time, I can look back and clearly see God’s hand working for good in my life.
2. If you were given the choice to have a maid or chef which would you choose? Oh this is a tough one Joy!  I love to cook and to clean, but I guess if I have to choose, I think I love to cook more.  So send me a maid please ;-)
3. What does love mean to you? Love is unconditional and forgiving.  Love is when you find pleasure serving another person.
4. What's one piece of advice you can give this future wife? Pray for your husband daily.
5. Do you make your bed every morning? Yes!  I love to go to bed with it all made up.
6. Are you a couch or recliner type of person? A nice squishy couch!
7. Super bowl... which do you like more... the game, the entertainment, the commercials, or the food? The game if the Steelers are playing, the food if not. lol
8. What got you to start blogging? I started blogging when we moved to Houston as a mean to communicate with distant family members.  I am constantly amazed by how much blogging has improved my life.
9. You've been given a lazy day, what do you plan to do all day? Stay in my PJ’s all day, sip coffee, and read a girlie book :-) Sounds delightful, right?
10. Cheesecake, chocolate cake or apple pie? New York Cheesecake!
11. And only because it never fails that someone will ask you this in life... If you could be a color, what color would you be?! =) Purple, or as I like to call it, Graple.

Questions For LWTH Taggers:
1. Why did you start blogging?
2. Do you have a bucket list? If so what are two things on it?
3. What is one thing you can’t live without?
4. What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
6. What dish or recipe have you always wanted to make, but have been too scared to?
7. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
8. What is your pet peeve?
9. What is your idea of a perfect vacation?
10. If you were given a million dollars, how would you spend it?
11. What is your guilty pleasure?

The 11 People I’m Tagging:
Meggan from Lila Grace
Eliza from Baby Bound
Kelly from Simply Kelly
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Cake Pop Maker

Who doesn’t like cake pops?!cakepops-2
That is a totally different question from, who doesn’t like to MAKE cake pops?
This kid!
I loath making cake pops.  I find them fabulously cute and adorable; I love how you can decorate them differently for various occasions.  And the way that taste? Perfectly scrumptious.cakepops-1
However, when I make cake pops it looks like World War 3 started in my kitchen.  It’s a hideous disaster and I find it very frustrating.  That is until I stumbled upon the cake pop maker.
Check this out!  All you have to do is put the batter in and boom they’re done!  cakepops-3
Amazing, right?!  I have not purchased one of these yet, but you can bet that I will be soon.  If you like to make cake balls, make your life easier and get one of these (they’re only $25!).  Here is my recipe for cake pops (and forming them into footballs).  If you’ve got one of these handy machines or your own recipe, please pass it my way :-)

Also guess what?! LWTH is finally on Facebook!!!  That's right, we're growing so come check us out and "Like" our page!!! 
xoxo Darby

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


In the past year, Life with the Hawleys has grown significantly.  I have thoroughly enjoyed making so many new bloggy friends, and I wanted to do something to give back to you all.  So when Life with the Hawleys reaches 300 followers, I have a surprise giveaway for YOU!!!! 

Get excited because it’s a great gift!!!!

How can you enter to win?

Leave a separate  comment for each of these:

1. Be a follower of Life with the Hawleys (LWTH)- see the side bar
2. "Like" LWTH on Facebook, and comment below
3. What is your favorite LWTH post?
4. Share about this giveaway on your own blog/FB/twitter.

Good luck and thank you for helping me get to 300 followers!
xoxo Darby

Monday, January 23, 2012

4 Years :-)

In addition to Christmas, my birthday, & Phil’s birthday, we also celebrated our 4-year anniversary over the Christmas break.  Clearly, there was a lot of celebrating going on during that week!  Since we had a long drive between Phil’s family & my family, we decided that for the first time we would take a couple days for ourselves on vacation and go somewhere for just us.  We went to Philadelphia.  This happened to be my first visit to Philly, & for all the negative stereotypes I had heard, I was pleasantly surprised.  I thought Philly was gorgeous.  The architecture was so old & beautiful, and the people were exceptionally friendly.  Phil & I thoroughly enjoyed our time there.
We stayed at the gorgeous Bellevue downtown.  This hotel was stunning! It’s clear why so many people choose to get married here.Bellevue- Outside 2Bellevue- Outside
Inside the hotel, the Christmas decorations were still up, & you know that I just couldn’t resist getting some pictures.DSC06289DSC06290DSC_0327
We went to McGillin’s for dinner one night & got to sit by the fire.  It was absolutely perfect, especially because it was cold & rainy that night.DSC06293
Like I said, the architecture in Philly was so historic & the European influence was extremely evident (something we don’t have much of amidst the stucco in Houston- yuck!)DSC_0333DSC_0335DSC_0370We also ventured to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which if you’re a fan, you will recognize as the stairs Sylvester Stallone runs up in Rocky.  Of course, we had to run up the stairs too!DSC_0352DSC06302DSC06304DSC06306
Have you ever been to Philly? What did you think?
xoxo Darby

Friday, January 20, 2012


It’s been a long time since Phil and I were in VA for New Years; something like 5 or 6 years!  This year we rang in the new year with my sister and our friends from college; I don’t remember laughing this much in years.  We had such a great time!
Phil and I in our “razzle-dazzle” for the new year!DSC06311Phil thinking about his New Years resolutions?thoughtful phil  Kellyn really showed us a great time in Carytown! Thank you Kellyn for a fabulous New Years celebration! DSC06314
xoxo Darby

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Touch Gloves

Have you heard of touch gloves? They are a fairly new hot item for me.  Touch gloves are basically gloves that you can wear with either a hole in the pointer finger or a rubberized tip of the pointer finger.  The goal is to help someone with a smart phone to text or surf the net while still keeping the rest of their hands warm.  These gloves are better than regular gloves, because they don’t slip on the screen of the phone and you don’t have to take your gloves off to type.
When I first saw these at Target a few months ago, I literally *laughed-out-loud*.  How obsessed is our culture with connection that we can’t even wait to get inside before we respond to a text?! I mean if you’re wearing gloves in the first place then it is obviously cold outside so you’re not going to be hanging out there for too long anyways.  Our desire for connection is hilarious to me.  However, I got a pair of these gloves for Christmas.  I have to say, that as much as I laughed at these in the store, I laughed soooo much more when I opened the gift.  Mine look like mittens, and there is a flap that uncovers my fingers and the flap buttons on the top of my hand.13634257
All that being said, I used my gloves for the first time on Monday. 
I’m hooked
They are fabulously useful and a definite necessary phone accessory (apparently I am way more obsessed with my phone than I initially thought- so guilty).  Not that I need another pair, but here are 2 of my favorites.354018_xxx_1_113720956
Aren’t they so cute.  Do you have a pair of touch gloves? Don’t you want a pair now?
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: 2011 Electronics

When I was reflecting on 2011 and making goals for 2012 I noticed a trend from the past year.  Now I would not normally consider myself a gadget, electronic, or even technologically savvy gal.  However, 2011 reflects differently.  The Mr and I purchased several new and fun electronics in 2011 that I am still lovin’

Back in the spring, Phil purchased surround sound.  This has been awesome for epic movies and especially for football season.  These are the speakers right before they were installed.DSC04924
To match the surround sound, in November we purchased a new 55-inch TV for the family room. This is really rockin’ my socks.
This is the 47-inch TV we had above the mantle before.  This was my gift to  Phil when we got married.  It now resides in the office.DSC_1140
This is our new 55-inch TV :-)  (Sidebar- Before you even ask, YES I do still have all of our Christmas decorations up.  I just can’t bring myself to take them down; not because it’s a hassle, but because I just hate to see Christmas leave.)DSC_1192Is a vacuum a gadget? an electronic? I don’t know, but I thought I would share it with you anyways.  The vacuum on the right we received as a wedding gift over 4 years ago.  I’m a bit OCD when it comes to the floors, so I ran that baby into the ground (pun intended lol).  For my birthday I asked for a new vacuum (No, I don’t consider this weird; I love to clean so it really does make sense that I would ask for this and be genuinely giddy when Phil gives it to me. Lame? Maybe, but I love it lol).  The new vacuum (on the left) is so awesome; I just love cleaning the floors with it!DSC_1099
For Christmas, Phil got me two new gadgets that I use everyday and I’m so in love with: the Nikon dSLR 5100 with several lenses and a new laptop.  Nikon 1DSC_1329
I think it’s safe to say 2 things: Phil loves to spoil me and apparently we DO love gadgets hahahaha
xoxo Darby

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tomlin’s New Brother

You might have guessed from the title of this post, or seen the pictures on Facebook already, but in case you haven't, Tomlin got a new brother over the weekend.  We brought home a 6 week old Lab/Black Mouth Cur mix puppy; his name is Rooney (we named him after the owner of the Steelers, because we’re obsessed with the Steelers of course! lol Read how Tomlin got her name here).  Rooney was rescued from a family that emaciated their animals on purpose (I don’t understand why people do this.  You don’t have to like animals, but you don’t have to abuse them either ARG!).  Aside from removing Rooney from the negative environment, Phil and I have wanted to get Tomlin a playmate for some time but we were going to wait until she was one.  However, during the Christmas break while we were out of town, Tomlin stayed with a great friend of mine who has a dog and a cat of her own.  For two weeks, Tomlin had 2 playmates all day long.  When we returned to Houston, of course Tomlin was happy to see us, but it was clear that she was sad without her buddies.  So we decided to not wait until she was 1 and just get another puppy right away.  When we learned about these puppies we felt like it was perfect timing.
The picture on the left is Phil with Tomlin the day we got her.  The picture on the right is Phil with Rooney, on Saturday.
Introducing: Mr Rooney HawleyDSC_0043
To be honest, I was very nervous about getting Rooney; much more nervous than I was with Tomlin.  Whereas before Tomlin, I was concerned with how Phil and I would work as a team, and how a puppy could change things.  I have no idea why I let this anxiety exist; there were no issues with any of that.  This time my concerns were for different reasons: I was worried about how we would be able to take care of an already struggling pup, what would the medical bills be like, how would Tomlin react to another pup in the house, would Tomlin think she was being replaced, how will we have the energy to take care of TWO puppies?!   Fortunately, as was the case before, none of my anxieties have been justified.

Rooney is very easy going; he simply goes with the flow.  Tomlin is having a little bit of an issue sharing her toys, but we are working through it and they are getting along very well.  Our nights are very long with a new fur baby in the house but everyone is still alive lol.  I’ve noticed some differences already between the two pups.  Tomlin was not a chewer; she chews her toys, but has never tried anything else.  Rooney, on the other hand, chews everything. His favorite thing to chew on are electrical cords.  Don’t worry, we are watching him like a hawk!
Tomlin meeting RooneyDSC_0046Checking out her new brother.  Tomlin is not a big dog at all, but standing next to 4.5lb Rooney makes her look like a giant lolDSC_0051
I worked from home yesterday to help Rooney and Tomlin adjust a little bit more, but classes resume today.  I’m wondering how long I can keep up with my lectures, grading, and  research while being sleep deprived. hmmmmm lol Hopefully for at least a month or so until we get a system going around here.  Rooney will be going to work with me for the next few weeks too, so I think that will help.  But anyways, for now, this is what our house looks like:
running through paper towels like crazy
lots of teamwork and shift work
chasing puppies to make sure everyone is getting along
the camera flash is going crazy
napping when Rooney naps
running through food faster
toys sprawled all over the floor
two of everything: bowls, toys, blankets, beds, etc.
It’s a crazy time, but a fun time too.  Lots of laughing and smiles. 
“No one better disrupt my brother’s nap!”DSC_0120DSC_0085Rooney likes to eat with part of his body in the bowl lolDSC_0062Tomin is teaching Rooney already.  Lesson one: begging!DSC_0116

Tomlin, guarding her brother
xoxo Darby
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