Friday, March 30, 2012

MIA- A Hot Pair of Boots

MIA Series Button
Kristin from A Hot Pair of Boots is visiting LWTH today, and I absolutely adore her!  She has a fabulous sense of style; I mean, don’t you just love the name of her blog?!?!  Kristin is super sweet, and I’m so happy to have crossed paths with her in blogland.  A Hot Pair of Boots
Well hello there!  My name is Kristin and I write for a little bloggy blog called A Hot Pair of Boots.  Nice to meet you! 

Darby (Don't you just love her blog, by the way?!) asked me to step in and do a little guest post, and I must admit that I was completely honored.  And a bit terrified.  I mean, she's awesome, so I've got some pretty amazing blog shoes to fill.  Apologies, in advance, if I am not as interesting, crafty or all around fabulous as she is!  Nonetheless, I'll go ahead and give it my best shot.

Today, I'd like to talk about something that is always on my mind (and on my credit card statement): Jeans.   I mean, maybe it's just me, but I seem to be perpetually searching for the perfect pair of jeans. (Anyone else?! Is it really just me?!)  I've tried them all from skinny to flair and from J Brand to J Crew.  I've found a few designers that I just adore (Hudson or AG, anyone?!), and some that, no matter how hard I try, just don't seem to adore me back!  Nonetheless, I've done enough research (and cried on enough fitting room floors) to consider myself a denim connoisseur.  (I should really get like a certificate or something.)

However, despite my love for all things denim, I'm a bit hesitant to jump on the latest trend bandwagon.  Do you know what I'm talking about?  That's right.  Colored denim.


I mean, where I come from (Originally Alabama, but now I call Nashville home), jeans are blue.  But now, it seems as if I can't even go to the grocery store without seeing some perfectly coiffed girl in red, yellow, or green jeans!

And I want a pair for myself!  But for whatever reason, I just can't seem to muster up enough courage to wear them.  I've scoured Pinterest, and found a few looks that I just love:

I mean, admittedly these ladies look amazing. But I still cannot help but wonder if I have what it takes to pull it off.  (i.e., among other things, skinny legs!)

How about you?!  Have you jumped on the colored denim train?  If so, do you have any brands that you just love?!  Any styling suggestions?!  Any words of advice for this girl who is still sitting on the sidelines?!  I'd really love to hear all about it!

A big thanks to Darby for letting me use her blog as my own personal fashion forum, and a big thanks to you guys for welcoming me! I hope it has been at least half as much fun for you as it was for me! Have a fabulous day, lovelies!

xoxo, k
I told you that Kristin was awesome!  And, I’ve got to agree with her: I too, am a bit weary of the colored denim.  I mean I still haven't mastered basic denim, how in the world would I be able to add in color?!  I’m definitely looking forward to your tips for us!  Please stop by Kristin’s piece of blog world for more fun and fashion!  Thanks for visiting Kristin!!!
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: ABC’s

I've seen this survey dancing around blog land for a while now, so I thought I'd join in on the fun. There are a lot of new LWTH followers, so you might find this interesting, or entertaining to say the least lol So here are the ABC's of me :-)
A. Age: 27 (wow, I'm past the mid-twenties now Ah!)
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore that you despise: Dusting the ceiling fans... oh and cleaning the floor boards, and hanging up cleaned laundry in the closet, and ironing, uh oh I think I have more that one favorite hated chore
D. Dogs: Tomlin (13 months old) and Rooney (4 months old)
E. Essential start to your day: Extra large cup of coffee
F. Favorite color: Purple.. or as I like to call it, graple :-)
G. Gold or silver: Silver
H. Height: 5' 3"- I've already started shrinking! I used to be 5'4"
I. Instruments you play: Vocals, guitar, drums, piano, & triangle. I'd like to learn the cello next!
J. Job title: Behavioral Neuroscientist Researcher and Instructor- PhD to come in 2 weeks!
K. Kids: Hopefully one day, but for now smitten with my nieces and nephew; I live to spoil them :-)
L. Live: Houston, Texas
M. Mother's name: Susan
N. Nicknames: Sweet D
O. Overnight hospital stays: So far nothing!
P. Pet peeves: Hearing other people chew, this includes even when the persons mouth is closed and I can still hear it, like chips....ewwww yuck! Hate it!
Q. Quote from a movie: "Buzz, your girlfriend, WOOF!" Can you name that movie?! It's my all-time favorite :-p
R. Right or left-handed: Righty
S. Siblings: Sister, Kellyn
T. Time you wake up: 4:02 (I always wake up with a 2 at the's SO weird of me lol)
U. Underwear: Um...everyday
V. Vegetable you despise: Parsnips....I've never actually tried them, but I think I wouldn't like them
W. What makes you run late: Tomlin having slow "Business Time"
X. X-rays you've had: Mouth (dentist)
Y. Yummy food: cheese, carbs, and chocolate (all of the healthiest foods of course)
Z. Zoo animal: I always love the koala and small primate
So those are the ABC's of me; kind of a fun, silly, and slightly random survey lol
If you decide to do an ABC survey, please leave me a comment so I can stop by! :-)

And just because I can't have a post without a picture (duh!) here is a picture of Tomlin and Rooney playing with their Valentine's presents from their Aunt Joy and cousin MBDSC_0678
xoxo Darby

Monday, March 26, 2012

MIA- Portugal Ponderings

Happy Monday!  Today Lindsey from Portugal Ponderings is visiting and sharing a super creative craft with you.  I think you’re going to love it :-)
Portugal Ponderings
Hi all “Life with the Hawleys” readers, I am so excited to be guest blogging here today.  I have a really simple project for you. First let me ask, do you have any unwanted décor items in your house? Or maybe, you have some household items that were “gifts”, and they don’t fit your taste or home’s color scheme? I know that I have an abundance of such gifts (mostly from my in-laws). I know they mean well, but they send me items that I don’t exactly like.  This figurine, for instance, was a gift from them. Although I was a dancer with a professional ballet school for years, this was not my style. I had made the very bad mistake of mentioning to them that I was looking for a bronze-style ballet statue for a nook in my home. This resin figure arrived weeks later.
Here are some of the problems it has: 1) it is WAY too small (it needs about 1-2 more feet in height to fit nicely in my nook), 2) it isn’t bronze-colored, it is actually painted with weird colors (for example, her hair is gold), and 3) it is a figurine not a statue.  Now, I would have just chucked the poor little figurine (or donated her to Goodwill) if she had bad turn-out (ballet term). I cannot tolerate ballet statues where the feet and leg positions are not aligned in a way that indicates proper technique.  Let me give you an example, here is a ballet dancer with great feet, and here is a statue with AWFUL technique. Basically her legs are not turned out. I could never have this statue in my house. The great thing about my resin figurine is that, as you can see, she is just putting on her pointe shoes. Therefore, I don’t have to worry about her feet looking perfect (yes I know... I am neurotic about this stuff).
Anyway, I decided to paint her. I figured if it didn’t turn out well… then nothing was really lost, other than my time and a can of spray paint.   I took her out to my garage, and put her on a Whole Foods bag, to protect my garage floor. I bought two different items at Home Depot: a can of white spray primer (good on plastic, metal etc), and then a can of spray paint+primer in satin white. I know it sounds like overkill to use a primer and a paint+primer. However, I have used the paint+primer before and I wasn’t impressed with its “sticking” ability.
First, I coated her with one light coat of the white primer. Although, you are supposed to use two coats of the primer, I opted for only one coat since I was going to be painting with the paint+primer.
She is starting to look better already!!
I let her dry for an hour, and then went back to paint (maybe I should have waited longer, but I was impatient). Then I painted, and painted, and painted….
Every hour, I painted another coat. It took a long time because she had so many intricate details. There were definitely moments where I didn’t follow the 12-14 inches rule for spray painting. For example, there was this area under her leg, where the paint was not reaching, even after I turned her upside down and on her side!!  So, I just stuck the spray paint nozzle there and sprayed… Luckily it didn’t glob up on me and start dripping *whew*. After all of the spraying, this was my final result.
Of course I could be neurotic and go back with a small paint brush to get any small areas that may have been missed, but I think it looks pretty darn good. My uncle was actually over at my house for dinner when I brought it in from the garage (after it had dried for 24 hours) and he definitely thought it was ceramic/porcelain. So, I think it was a success! The statute now fits better with my house decor. It has no ugly colors, or gold hair. It also doesn’t look like it is made of resin. I am very happy with the turn out.
So, there you have it. Do you have any items in your home that could use a color change? Did you receive a figurine that was just not the right color scheme? Grab some spray paint and transform it!
Thank you Lindsey for sharing this creative transformation with us!! 
xoxo Darby

Saturday, March 24, 2012

This is why…

This is why I married my best friend.
No I’m not in the hospital, nor do I have any health concerns (that I’m aware of, of course).  But the past few months have been trying to say the least.  (Maybe I’ll elaborate on this later)
Today I’m praising the Lord that I was blessed with a husband that makes me laugh in the midst of some stormy weather.
Thanks for being my best friend Phil!
I love you Phil!
xoxo Darby

Friday, March 23, 2012

MIA- Total Basset Case

MIA Series Button
Morning Friends!  The dissertationing is going well.  My paper is due to my committee today, so I’m getting closer and closer to being finished! Wahooo!!!!  Please say a prayer for me today if you get a chance.
Today, my friend Sarah is visiting and I absolutely love her and her adorable pup, Floyd.  I think you’re really going to love Sarah's meal planning tips for you:-)
Hi there Life with the Hawley readers!
My name is Sarah and I blog over at Total Basset Case
At my blog I write about my life with our silly basset hound, Floyd, weekly outfit posts, recipes, DIY and meal planning!

In the past year I have really come to love (and depend on) meal planning.
Well, to be fair, I love planning in general and I love to cook so meal planning
was a natural progression for me.
My love for meal planning first started when I discovered This Week For Dinner.
I started reading TWFD and planned one week of meals and I was immediately hooked.
It was quickly evident to me how easy meal planning could make my life.

For me the benefits of meal planning are:
  • Quicker and cheaper trips to the grocery:I know exactly what I need to buy
  • Ease of mind after work knowing what is for dinner: We don't waste time trying to determine what we want for dinner, we already know!
  • Dinner on the table quicker at night: Because I know what we are having each night, I can prepare some items the night before
  • Healthier meals: Since our meals are already planned and purchased, we are less likely to go out to eat
Each Sunday I sit down with my computer, cookbooks and my calendar.
I pencil in what we have going on for the week and plan our meals from there.
I try to add at least 1 crock pot meal a week.
I also make it a point to choose meals that will produce enough for leftovers.
From there I just start choosing things that look good or that I have been wanting to try.

For examples of my meal plans check them out here

Meal planning allows me to try a large variety of different recipes and become very creative in the kitchen.
There are SO many recipes in the world I want to try and meal planning allows me to (attempt) to fit all of those in. 
You can see from my 'Food' Pinterest board here that I have a small obsession with food.

Meal planning has really made a difference in our lives- I know that is a bold statement but it really has!

If you don't currently meal plan I say give it a try, even just for one week and see what you think! 

Thank you for having me, Darby!
Best of luck to you finishing up your schoolin'!
I’m sure you can see why I love Sarah; at least one of the many reasons why I love her!  Don’t you love this meal planning idea? It’s healthier, cheaper, and stress free!  What more could you possibly want?! Stop by Sarah’s blog to leave her some love and meet her precious Floyd!
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Ruffles


ahhhh ruffles :-)

What girl doesn’t *love* ruffles?! 

It’s about that time for me to start working on a new room.  I’ve done mini projects since last summer’s master bedroom renovation, but since this summer is just around the corner, my brainstorming is underway for my next big summer project.

When the latest Anthropology magazine arrived, I about squealed like a little girl over the pictures of the new ruffle bedding.
Catalina CharcoalRivulets Coblat
I feel inspired and I’m thinking the guest room is getting a little makeover!
xoxo Darby

Monday, March 19, 2012

MIA- Dishes & Wishes

MIA Series ButtonHappy Monday!  We’ve made it to another week!  Sometimes I shock myself when this happens!  Erin from Dishes & Wishes is visiting LWTH today.  If you need a good reminder of how you should focus your heart for the week, I think this post is going to do the trick for you.  I adore Erin and her authentic heart for the Lord, and I think she will probably speak to your heart today.Dishes and Wishes
My name is Erin.
I blog over at Dishes & Wishes.
I was lucky to have been asked to participate in Marital Mondays not too long ago for Darby.
I loved it.
I learned from it.
I hope you took a little something away from it.
I'm so thankful and excited to be guest posting again for the Lovely Darby.
She has to be one of the sweetest people on the planet.
I adore her blog and her pup Miss T and the new little nugget-head Rooney!
(I''ve determined, even though almost the whole country is between us, that Miss Tomlin and my pup Asher are meant to be together.)
I'm from Ohio... Columbus to be exact.
We Ohio-ians have this little joke that we have a different set of seasons than everyone else.
Winter, Still Winter, Almost winter and Construction.
It's unavoidable.
I'll leave my complaint about the City of Columbus doing construction on a major freeway and the city where I live deciding that it's also a great time to rip up the 2 lane road that I live off of, gut the concrete and widen it...Dishes and Wishes- 2
And the fact that the complete absence of winter this year doesn't mean that they'll continue working on the project in order for it to be done faster and keep me from ramping my car up the stupidest idea of a 'fix' for leveling the 2 feet difference between the two halves of the road.
I mean honestly...
My (Jake's) front bumper has permanent damage due to me smacking it on the concrete every morning as I drive out of my development... Not to mention that the sensors for the light are now 10 ft away from where you wait for traffic.
I honestly don't know where that came from.
Sorry about that.
My point.
One day last week I was sitting in traffic and I noticed a young couple that was sitting on the corner of the intersection. This isn't a 'normal thing' for where I live. Their sign said 'Broke and Traveling'
My initial reaction was the same as the few cars in front of me.
I nervously avoided eye contact.
Pretended to be busy with my radio.
Checked my phone.
As the man holding the sign passed me I took a look at his face. He had to have been my age. Young by society's standards. I chanced a glance at the young woman who was with him. She was patiently waiting with her head down, sitting on their 2 bags.All of a sudden I did a double take. Sitting so perfectly beside this young woman was a very large, very sweet faced dog. The two of them huddled together.
My heart broke for them.
I chose to look at them through different eyes.
Who did I think I was?
Who am I to judge them, to react toward them in such a negative way.
Why should people down on their luck, be it by their own design or for a higher purpose, be judged or ignored like they are 'less than'.
Jesus called us to Love our neighbors.
Not just the ones that make us comfortable or the ones that we approved of.
We are called to love all others as we love ourselves.
I quickly dug through my purse and found my cash. I got the attention of the young woman who was sitting only 10 feet from my car. I rolled down my window and gave her what I could. She smiled at me with genuine gratitude and thanked me.
It felt good.
Hebrews 13:16
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
It felt good to make a difference in someone else' life, no matter how small or insignificant.
As I was rolling up my window I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw that the car behind me. It was a car that I had rolled my eyes at before due to the high school girls dancing to their music, like I wasn't just like them when I was in high school.
Only they weren't car dancing anymore.
They were holding a fold of cash in their hand and were motioning to the young woman to come to their window.
I felt even better.
I like to think that my actions, my decision for kindness, inspired those young girls to reach out and give unselfishly to someone who was in need. They chose to ignore the public opinion and reach out for good.
My little story isn't meant to judge people who choose to keep their windows rolled up.
Goodness knows that is me a majority of the time...
I just wanted to remind you that there are people outside of your window, your comfort zone, who need a little kindness extended toward them. You never know who is watching you, waiting for a little inspiration to give something of themselves right along beside you.
Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
I've loved sharing and would love hearing from you!
Take care and be blessed!
Thank you Erin for such a genuine and lovely reminder of how Jesus wants us to treat our neighbors; our neighbors being even those on the corner.  Go visit Erin for more inspiration and reminders of how to live a life according to God’s will.
xoxo Darby

Friday, March 16, 2012

MIA- Simply Kelly

Today Kelly from Simply Kelly is visiting.  I have loved getting to know her and watch all her décor transformations.  We’re both east coasterns turned Texans and I think you’re really going to like her and her fabulous sense of style.  Make sure you stop by her blog and leave her some bloggy love :-)
Simply Kelly-2
Hello Life With The Hawleys readers!  I'm Kelly from Simply Kelly.  My blog is about sharing fabulous space, furniture and entertaining ideas.  Since St. Patty's Day is this weekend I thought I would share green spaces.  And by green, I mean bold splashes of green color.  Here are some of my favorites.
Thanks again to Darby for having me today!
See? I told you that you were going to love her ;-) Thanks for visiting Kelly and sharing your festive décor ideas with us.  Y’all make sure you stop by and leave her some green love :-)  Happy St. Patrick’s Day
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Avocado Eggs Benedict

With everything being crazy right now as I finish my degree, meals lately have been, eh…. subpar to say the least.  Let’s just say we’re eating a lot of cereal.  I’m not a big brinner (breakfast for dinner) person, because I think it confuses my brain, but I have been making this recipe a lot lately.  I shared this recipe with Simply Kelly a few weeks ago, but in case you missed it, here it is again.
Avocado Eggs Benedict with Chipotle Hollandaise
Sandwich Ingredients:
1 avocado
lime juice
2 English muffins
2 eggs

Chipotle Hollandaise Sauce Ingredients:
1.5 tbs chipotle chilies in adobo sauce puree
2 egg yolks
1-2 tbs lime juice
pinch of salt
8 tbs butter, melted

1. Cook bacon.  While the bacon is cooking make the Chipotle Hollandaise Sauce.  In a blender, mix all of the ingredients except butter for 30 seconds.  Then slowly mix in the butter.
Yum, bacon!DSC_0028
Chipotle Hollandaise Sauce, sans butter, before mixing.  It looks a little weird at first.DSC_0023
2. Next, heat a saucepan of water up to a simmer.  While you’re waiting on the water, mash together the flesh of an avocado, lime juice and salt to your liking.  Then toast your english muffins.
Avocado spreadDSC_0026
3.  When the water comes to a simmer, crack each egg, separately, into a bowl.  Stir the water with a spoon and pour the egg into the swirling water.  Let it cook for 2.5-3 minutes.

4. While your eggs are cooking, spread the avocado mixture on the muffins and top with your bacon.  When your eggs are done removed them from the water with a slotted spoon so that water drains off.  Place an egg on top of the bacon, and season with salt and pepper.  Then pour on some of the chipotle hollandaise sauce

5. Dig in and enjoy!DSC_0031 You’ve got to try this quick brinner recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we have :-)

(recipe adapted from Cassie Craves)
xoxo Darby

Monday, March 12, 2012

MIA- Henning Love

Happy Monday!  Today I have an awesome guest for you!  I absolutely love Meg and all of her delicious recipes.  I think you will too.  Check her out!
Henning Love
Hello Life with the Hawley's readers! I am happy to help Darby keep her blog while she is off being an educated woman finishing up her PhD, go you Darby!  My name is Meg and I blog over at henning love, a lifestyle blog. Darby is just the sweetest and she is also the momma to two dogs like I am so we have double the puppy love in our homes.
Darby let me post about anything I wanted and one of my favorite things in the world to do is to bake, so I knew some baked item would be my guest post for her. Today's recipe, chocolate chip cranberry oatmeal cookies. I had a bag of cranberries I needed to use up so this recipe was perfect!
First, gather together your ingredients. 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature, 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 1/2 cup rolled oats, 3/4 cup dried cranberries, 3/4 cup chocolate chips.
In your mixing bowl, cream the butter first.
Then add in the brown sugar and cream the two ingredients together.
Add in the egg and the vanilla extract and mix completely.
Pour in the flour, cinnamon and baking soda and give the batter a good mixing.
Add in the rolled oats, the cranberries and the chocolate chips.
If you can, refrigerate the dough for about 30-45 minutes this will held the dough to hardened. If you don't have time, turn on the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. Space the cookies about 2 inches apart on your baking sheet.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes so the edges are golden but the middle is a bit undercooked. Take the cookies out of the oven when they are done, let them cool slightly on the cookie sheet before you transfer them to a cooling rack. Then serve, eat and enjoy!
recipe found here
Aren’t you craving these cookies now?!?! Thank you so much for visiting today Meg!
xoxo Darby
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