Monday, April 29, 2013

Short Bread Cookies

Happy Monday friends!!!  This morning I’ve got some training at work for a new program I will be working with in the fall and then I will give finals this week.  I am thiiiiiiiissssss close to summer and it can’t get here soon enough. 
So I’m ready to tackle this week! 
Bring it Monday!
Since summer is going to be so sweet, I thought I would tease your sweet tooth with this recipe.
You’re welcome ;-)
From the Kitchen of Darby Hawley
I make short bread cookies all. the. time!  Most people look at my cookies and think that they are sugar cookies because of how they look, but they are wrong!  These cookies are a million times better than sugar cookies! ;-) Like sugar cookies, you can use a cookie cutter to make these short bread cookies into any shape you wish, which makes these appropriate for every season and celebration.  Since you’ll love the taste and wont want to change it (I promise!) then you just change the shape and wah-lah! You’ve got a “new” cookie. Simple!DSC_0181-2
3/4 lb. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a mixer, blend butter & sugar just until combined, then add in vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl mix flour and salt with a whisk.  Then add the flour mixture to the ingredients in your mixer.  Mix on a low speed until a dough begins to form.Collage 2
  4. Cover your counters with wax paper and sprinkle it with flour.  Divide your dough in half and place the first half on the wax paper.  Then take another piece of wax paper and use it to cover the first half of the dough.  Then using a rolling pin, roll the dough between the two pieces of wax paper (this will help you with clean up later).  Roll the dough out to about 1/4 of an inch thick and lay flat in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Repeat with the other half of the dough.  Do not get anxious to try the cookies and skip this cooling step.
  5. After the dough has chilled for at least 30 minutes, use a cookie cutter to shape your cookies and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  They will not spread that much so you can cram as many on a cookie sheet as you want, as long as they’re not touching.  Sprinkle a little bit of sugar on top and place them in your oven for 8-9 minutes. If you have unused dough place it back in the fridge.  It is important when the cookies go into the oven that they are still cold, so only take out the dough you need for a tray of cookies, and then put it back until you’re ready for the next batch.Collage 3 DSC_0178-2
  6. When the cookies are done, place them on a cooling rack or DIG IN!
**An alternative version of these delicious short bread cookies is to also add in 1 tsp of almond extract when you add the vanilla.  Another way you could change up this recipe is to add in 1.5 cups of finely diced pecans when you add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Yummy yummy!
These cookies are so versatile.  Not only can you change their shape (hearts for Valentine’s Day, acorns and leaves for fall, or footballs for the Superbowl), but also you can drizzle chocolate on top!  YUMMMY!!!!Cookies with ChocolatePlain cookiesDSC_0612-3
Seriously you’ve got to try these!!! I promise you will not regret it!
Have a great week friends!
xoxo Darby

Friday, April 26, 2013

DIY Shutter Headboard- Take 2

One of the things I had to finish before Joy arrived a couple weeks ago (see here) was the guest room.  She was the first over-night guest in our home since the big move in December (dets here) and I wanted her to feel like her room was complete.  Since I still really liked the headboard from the master bedroom at our apartment, I decided to use it again but to give it a little makeover.  Seriously, who doesn’t love a makeover?!
In our previous master bedroom, I purchased shutter dividers from Hobby Lobby (my favorite store) and negotiated them down to $50 because there were a few dings. 
They were originally $300, so I’d say I got the better deal ;-)
I separated the shutters and used one to display pictures. I painted it blue and then distressed it (tutorial here).
The others I attached to the bed for an espresso colored headboard (tutorial here).
Pictures from our previous master bedroom
Collage 1
When we moved to the new house we purchased a new bedroom set so I still had these shutters, and to be honest I still really liked them.
I primed and painted the shutters white, and then distressed them with sand paper.
Collage 2DSC_0245-2Collage 3
The Mr. attached them to the wall for me and we were done.
Easy, Peasy, Lemon Squeezy <---- That’s what the Mr. said :-)
I think it really gave the room the complete look I was looking for and it maintained the serene, peaceful, & warm bungalow feeling I was going for in the guest room. The colors in this room are lavendar, white, cream, and gray.
See burlap lamp tutorial hereDSC_0584-2DSC_0586-2DSC_0588-2DSC_0583-3This is now the only completed bedroom in the house. lol I still have the other bedroom and the master to tackle and I think I’m going to start on the office next. 
Any tips or trends you recommend for our "warm bungalow"?
Have a great weekend y’all!
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Fellow Bloggers

People who are not bloggers may not understand the blogging community, and may even find it to be rather unusual.  But I would beg to differ; I truly think otherwise. 
In my few years of blogging I have met some of the most amazing women and made some of the most lasting friendships (see Joy’s visit from Alabama here) that I would not have had if I hadn’t been a blogger.
This is what blogging is all about:58125_4818195943318_1580202556_n
It’s about bringing people together.
Finding a networking and connecting with others.Collage 1
Meg ~ ME ~ Meg ~ Whitney ~ Bre ~ Jennifer
I am so grateful for the women I have met through blogging who have become more than just “blogging buds” but friends IRL (in real life).  We do more than just blog, we are friends who care for and encourage one another.Collage 2
Whitney ~ Meg ~ Amy ~ Selena ~ Bre ~ BreMeg ~ Valerie
This passed Sunday I went to my monthly meetup with my Houston blogging friends and it just reminded me about how grateful I am to have my friends.  Had it not been for these women I’m not sure I would have developed into who I am today.  You all have all played a vital role in my growth as a woman, sister, wife, professor, and friend. 
Thank YOU for being so awesome! 
If you have not reached out to other bloggers in your area I highly encourage you to; it’s been such a wonderful blessing in my life.15252_4818193663261_1684110152_nThank you Meg for being our awesome resident photographer!!!
xoxo Darby

Monday, April 22, 2013

How would you describe yourself?

Happy Monday my sweet friends!  I had a fun DIY post scheduled for today but I decided that could wait another day.  Something else is really more important that I want to chit chat with you about today.  I want you to get this week started with your best foot forward. 

You may have seen this floating around facebook lately, but as a scientist, I always love an experiment with a big impact. 
I love the “wow factor”.
This one packs a punch, and has the “wow factor”
Dove conducted a study on how we see ourselves.  Check out this video:
If you were asked to draw yourself, what would you look like?  How would you describe yourself?
Let me remind you, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! Way more beautiful than you think!
Friends, stop focusing on what you consider to be your flaws.
Whether you see it or not, everyone else sees your beauty.
Try to see yourself as everyone else does: beautiful.
Smile more, embrace your crows feet and the gray hair, and your laugh lines.
Be nice to yourself, and stop criticizing everything about how you look.
Lighten up on yourself.
Today my prayer for you friends is that you feel as beautiful as you really are.
Proverbs 31
xoxo Darby

Friday, April 19, 2013

Take the Wheel

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just need a good reminder that not only am I not driving this car of life, but I don’t want to.  That is a job that someone much bigger than I, Jesus, should be doing. 
I am just along for the ride. 
I need to sit back and enjoy the view….
…even if it’s the scenic tour
because it really is a beautiful view.
Happy weekend Friday friends!  I’ve got about one more week of classes, then finals, and hello summer!  The Mr. and I are attending a marriage conference this weekend at church and are looking forward to sharpening one another.  What do y’all have going on this weekend?
xoxo Darby

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Summer Colors

Next week is the last week of lecture for the spring semester and I couldn’t be happier more sad to see the semester end.  I am starting to get my summer fun ready:
pages of easy-reading stacked up
new fresh summer recipes to create
DIY projects to tackle
One project I’ve decided to tackle is my new office.  As you know it now looks like a child’s nursery with a tractor mural on the wall.  While I’m sure this is awesome for a little boy….I am obviously not a little boy and this will not work for me lol.  So I’ve been brainstorming about the room and how I want it decorated.  I’ve got some ideas and I wanted to show you some color pallet ideas to see what you think and get your opinion.  Which of these are the most appealing to you, considering the warm bungalow effect I am going for throughout the house?

You can probably see a color pallet theme, but I’m having a hard time narrowing it down more than this.  
Do any of these stick out more to you?
Sweet Tones // Dairy TonesCollage 4Ok so I know there are a lot of choices but what do you think?
Any preferences?
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Antiquing

A couple weekends ago we went antiquing with some of our best friends in Houston.  We went to the largest antique show in the country and it was SO MUCH FUN!  We walked for miles looking at tons of treasures!  If it weren’t for the fact that we were getting sunburnt, our feet hurt, and the sun was going down, we could have shopped for weeks!  There was so much to look at that I could hardly focus.  I’ve got two more bedrooms in my “warm bungalow” to decorate so next time I will definitely have a much longer list to help guide my shopping instead of just hoping from tent to tent with big googlie eyes hahaha
It was so nice to get out of the city for the weekend and move at a slower, more pleasant, pace.DSC_0376-2DSC_0388-2DSC_0404-2DSC_0419-2Collage 12
I saw this “Dead People Stuff” sign and couldn’t help but giggle a little.  Isn’t that what antiquing is?! People drop big bucks for this kind of stuff lol
I saw a lot of neat things and I’ve got a lot of great DIY ideas coming your way friends :-)Collage 9Collage 1Collage 3Collage 2Collage 4Collage 5Collage 6Collage 7Collage 8Collage 10Collage 11

After a great weekend with friends, we started back into the city and saw some Blue Bonnets! I feel like I can finally call myself a Texan, since I have finally seen the Blue Bonnets and taken pictures of them.
Next time I will have to get my picture with them!DSC_0567-2

They really are pretty!
I wonder if I should plant some of these in the yard?DSC_0569-2DSC_0570-2
Yep, I’m a real Texan now ;-)
Have you ever been antiquing? If you go antiquing in Houston, what places would you recommend? I have 2 more rooms to decorate and I need some suggestions :-)
xoxo Darby
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