Friday, August 18, 2017

I Just Can't Stop

The Holy Spirit has encircled my heart with this song lately, and I just wanted to share it with you.  I'm grateful that the words of this melody are playing over & over again lately.  I need to hear it and remind myself.  I hope that this song rolls through your heart as it has for me.

Your glory lights the stars and rising sun
Your power raises mountains like the dawn
How could I not worship
How could I not worship
You knew my name before my life began
My very days were carved by your own hand
How could I not worship
How could I not worship
You are my God
You've rescued my heart
And I can barely breath when I see
How great you are
You are my king
and none can compare
You took the crown of thorns
that no one else could wear
I just can't stop my hallelujahs
I just can't stop my hallelujahs
There's nothing in my heart that I won't give
And it's by Your grace
that I know what mercy is
How could I not worship
How could I not worship
You are my God
You've rescued my heart
And I can barely breath when I see
How great you are
You are my king
And none can compare
You took the crown of thorns
That no one else could wear
I just can't stop my hallelujahs
I just can't stop my hallelujahs
All splendor, all glory, all praise be yours Lord
All blessing, all honor, all praise be yours
All splendor, all glory, be yours Lord
All blessing, all honor, all praise be yours
All splendor, All glory, All praise be yours Lord
All blessing, All honor, All praise be yours
You are my God
You've rescued my heart
And I can barely breath
When I see how great you are
You are my King
And none can compare
You took the crown of thorns
That no one else could wear
I just can't stop my hallelujah's
I just can't stop my hallelujah's
I just can't stop my hallelujah's
I just can't stop my hallelujah's
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Salt Tray Learning {FREE Download!}

I wish I could bottle the giggles that I get with this activity for you to hear.  Completely infectious!  I lean in the Montessori direction for academic instruction with my kids, so I love that this activity is not only versatile but encourages independence, exploration, & self-correction.  Today I’m sharing it with you and have a FREE download for you!!!!Salt Tray Life with the HawleysHawley Homeschool
Montessori suggests using sand trays with children, but I don’t know if you’ve looked into this or not, but those Montessori sand trays are ridiculously expensive.  This mama don’t play that game! Instead I found this super reasonably-priced tray and use table salt instead of sand. Soooooo much better!  I made these cards to use with the tray and have them for you for FREE!!!!DSC_0080DSC_0085DSC_0077
These cards are great for kids to use to practice writing their letters, numbers, shapes, and even just tracing.  I used this at Vacation Bible School this year to let children create pictures to illustrate our bible story.  You could easily incorporate this into your home classroom!!!  DSC_0082DSC_0083
So fun right?  Check out these FREE cards and let me know what you think.DSC_0086
What cool ideas or Montessori activities are you using with your kiddos lately?
xoxo Darby

Monday, August 14, 2017

Not Alone

There are so many times when we just don't know what to say so we say nothing OR we stick our foot in our mouth and unintentionally hurt others.  I know it's been a while since I've discussed our loss & our season of infertility, but that doesn't mean that it is out of my mind.  I think of it on a daily basis & I miss my sweet baby that has already gone to heaven.  It is a part of my life forever and while I still struggle with it, even with 2 earthly children, it doesn't hold me back as much anymore. (More on our infertility journey here)

Before infertility, it never occurred to me that people may be smiling on the outside but dealing with a painful, soul-crushing loss on the inside until I was one of those people. I am now hyper aware of other’s feelings and forgiving of people’s shortcomings because I realize that they may be fighting a silent battle too.  Just like I was putting on that fake smile, many others do that as well, offer them grace and mercy.

In the past, I always wanted to stop and fix pain, rather than hug people and to tell them it was ok that they were hurting. Now, when people experience pain I tell them that they hurt because what happened mattered. Having experienced pain that seemed so meaningless and feeling “dumb” for being sad for what could have been but never was, I can understand that sometimes pain just needs to sit because it represents what was important to us but is now gone.

I saw this video and I just have to share it with you.  I know this is a commercial, but it is the sweetest illustration of just being present for someone else.  In a world filled with hurt that you may or may not understand, you just need to sit there.  And just be.
 
xoxo Darby

Friday, August 11, 2017

Monat for the Skeptic

I will be the FIRST to admit that whenever something new rolls around I am the absolute biggest skeptic.  Blame it on the neuroscientist part of my life ;-)  However, being the biggest skeptic made me the perfect gal for the job!  Sit back, let me tell you my hair story!Monat for the Skeptic- Life with the Hawleys
You see Monat is an all natural hair system that refuses all toxic ingredients.  For several years now I have only used 100% all natural shampoo & conditioner.  I don’t color my hair.  I don’t use hair products. I don’t use heat on my hair.  So if I were to try Monat I would be the perfect control, because if there were changes in hair that is already pretty healthy, imagine how much more change is possible with damaged hair???? See where I’m going with this? I was the perfect head of hair to try this..... I keep saying “perfect”.... let me just say it. I know I’m not perfect, but let me pretend for a few more minutes ;-)

Before starting Monat I had lots of fly-aways around my face from all of my post-partum hair loss, but that was my biggest hair flaw that I was hopeful would be corrected.  I have been using Monat exclusively since April 30th 2017 and let me tell you what I’ve learned:

++PRO++
Just looking at the product I LOVE the design of the bottle.  Monat has created such an effortless twist top to open their shampoo & conditioner.  I know this might sound minor, but it is so helpful in the shower.  When you open the products they smell so good! It’s a relaxing subtle scent that wont suffocate you.  Some shampoos smell way too strong.  After washing you get a really nice squeaky feeling.  I don’t know about you, but if you use natural hair products you will often feel like you can never tell if you got out all of your shampoo or conditioner; that drives me bonkers!  I look forward to clean hair and I want it to squeak when it’s done, & Monat gets my hair squeaky clean.DSC_0868
--CON--
There is a “detox period” when you first start with the product line.  For me I saw some hair loss at the beginning, which worried me a little bit, but it tapered off.  I also noticed that my hair began to get a lot of tangles and frizzy.  Not going to lie, I was initially starting to rethink this product.  The skeptic part of me was in full force.  I think I was driving my husband insane asking him everyday if he noticed anything different with my hair.  I was reassured that this was a typical result and it would be fine.  Sure enough the detox phase ended and all of those “side effects” went away.  For me, it took about a month and a half for my hair to adjust, so if you have really battered hair it may or may not take the same length of time. 

++PRO++
Monat has a lot of options as to what kind of issue you would like to work on with your hair (i.e. hair growth, volume, etc.).  I started with the Renew Shampoo & Restore Leave-In Conditioner, and later switched to the Intense Repair Shampoo & Conditioner.  I think because my hair is just so long it tangles easily and I can’t go without conditioner.DSC_0862DSC_0866DSC_0879

++PRO++
You might see this as a con at first, but only because it is a little confusing.  This shampoo doesn’t get sudsy.  Because of the absence of toxic chemicals you wont get the bubbles you typically expect with shampoo.  Once you just get over that expectation it’s totally fine.  In addition, and this is GOOD folks, this shampoo doesn’t require much.  About a quarter-sized dollop is sufficient for an entire head of hair (even my really long hair).  In almost 4 months I have only used 2 bottles of shampoo.

--CON--
These hair products do cost a little more than your average hair product, but they also last a lot longer.  I also only have to wash my hair every two days, so that also helps the product last longer.

++PRO++
There is an intense replenishing masque, which is basically a super intense conditioner.  If you watch any You Tube videos about it, people RAVE about this product.  I like it & used it probably once every 2 weeks (a single tub lasted me 4 months).  From all the videos I watched, I feel like this was the product to make my hair “feel like butter”.  While it’s good & effective, it’s not my favorite.....I like the Blow Out Cream bestDSC_0877DSC_0874

++PRO++
I have never liked a hair product more than I like this one.  It smells so heavenly, but makes my hair softer and lighter than it has ever been.  I no longer have any flyaways and my hair doesn't even frizz (even when it is over 108 degrees + humidity in Houston!).  I have noticed that if I let my hair air dry it isn’t as soft as it is when I dry my hair and use this product.  Oh AND get this, my hair dries faster now!!! This is a big deal, especially for people with long hair in the summer.DSC_0880

My hair is so silky now and I like to run my fingers through it lol I don’t care how weird that sounds.  My hair just feels so rich, full, and healthy.  Look how much my hair changed in just a couple months (and also I apparently have a thing for cream shirts)IMG_20170702_135043_854
If you are at all interested in this product, I fully endorse it & encourage you to try it.  Click here to learn more and get connected with an epic representative.  I have quickly switch from skeptic to fanatic :-)DSC_0883
Obligatory Blogger Disclaimer: While I was compensated with products to sample, all comments & opinions are 100% mine.
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Colorful Noodle Letters

We are ALL things letters right now!  Letters are everywhere and in everything around Chateau Hawley.  Creating the letters I’m sharing with you today turned out to be a great, fun Saturday morning science project and then a fun game in our classroom.Colorful Noodle Letters Life with the HawleysHawley Homeschool
Supplies:
Dry Noodles
4 Sandwich baggies with zipper closure
Rubbing alcohol
Food coloring
cookie sheet
wax paper
GrabbersDSC_0641
Directions:
1. Separate dry noodles into plastic bags.  Then to each bag add 1/2 tsp rubbing alcohol & 4-5 drops of food coloring.  Seal & shake the bag to make sure all of the noodles are coated.DSC_0645DSC_0647DSC_0649
2. On a cookie sheet covered with wax paper, pour out the noodles to dry. I let my noodles dry over night.DSC_0650
3. When noodles are dry and ready to enter the classroom, you can use these tools to help with fine motor skills and letter recognition. “Can you find the letter ‘A’ and pick it up with the forceps?”  Later you can use these same letters to spell words.  DSC_0377DSC_0675
How fun is this?!?!? Super easy, cheap, & versatile....all my favorites!
xoxo Darby

Monday, August 7, 2017

Succotash For All Your Summer Needs

I feel like you can’t get out of the summer without making Succotash.  I remember having this all the time at family functions when I was younger.  My Aunt Debbie would make it & my mouth would water every time I saw it on the pot luck table.  In fact my mouth still waters when I see it. Ha!  This is the perfect side dish for grilling out or picnics at the pool. Someone please make this at your next pot luck and send me some :-)
Succotash Lift with the HawleysFrom the Kitchen of Darby Hawley

Ingredients:
16 oz bag of frozen butter beans--or baby lima beans depending on your regional dialect ;-)
15 oz frozen sweet yellow corn
1 tsp ground pepper
2 strips of good thick bacon
3-4 cups water (maybe more if you need it later- you be the judge)
3 tbs unsalted butter

Directions:
1. Dump everything into a stock pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then turn down to low & simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.
2. Enjoy!
DSC_0598
xoxo Darby

Friday, August 4, 2017

Zucchini Boats

Apparently when I posted this picture on Instagram & Facebook, I captured your attention.  I certainly wouldn't call myself the best chef; oh no, not by any stretch of the imagination.  But occasionally I'm not too shabby.  Like this recipe I'm sharing with you today. It looks, and sounds, a lot fancier than it is. This is a fairly quick recipe that you can whip up in about 35-40 minutes, and it looks and tastes great!  Try it & tell me what you think!Zucchini  Boats- Life with the HawleysFrom the Kitchen of Darby Hawley
Ingredients:
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
3/4 oz parmesan cheese, shaved
2 tbs EVOO
sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbs grass-fed butter
1/2 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch of chili flakes (optional)
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 lb ground Italian sausage, I've used both mild & hot and both are great
5-8 zucchinis
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 oz mozzarella cheese ( I just used sliced cheese)
2 tbs fresh parsley

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together tomatoes, parmesan cheese, EVOO, sea salt & pepper.
2. In a skillet (I use cast iron) over medium heat, melt butter, and then add onions & cook until translucent (about 3-5 minutes).  Then stir in the garlic, paprika, cayenne, (chili flakes- optional), oregano, & thyme.
3. Add sausage to the onions & spices, and cook until browned.  Then remove everything from the skillet and add it to the tomato mixture.  Check to see if you need more salt or pepper.
4. Cut each zucchini in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the flesh.  Do not throw the flesh away, but instead add it to the tomato mixture. Place the empty zucchinis into a baking dish and add the chicken stock to the bottom. Begin to fill the zucchinis with the sausage/tomato/zucchini mixture. Bake for 25 minutes.
5. Top zucchini boats with mozzarella cheese & parsley, & return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes depending on how brown & bubbly you like the cheese. Then remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes before serving.
6. Enjoy!
DSC_0465
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Get Spicy!

If you haven't tried this, I honestly don't know what you're doing with your life! You need to get it together ;-)DSC_0404
We are obsessed with this! It really is the best & I can't stop eating it!  It's like a heated relish that you can but on top of almost everything to add heat, but not necessarily spice. Does that make sense? It's basically a healthy, calorie-free way to add flavor. Who wouldn't like that?!
We put it on top of:
pizza
sandwiches
Philly cheesesteak
spaghetti
tacos
nachos
chili
hummus
and a thousand other things I can't think of right now.
I haven't been able to find this in a store, so I order it from Amazon.  Has anyone else seen this in a store?

Obligatory Blogger Disclaimer ~ I was not compensated for this review.  I just really like this product. 
xoxo Darby

Monday, July 31, 2017

Road Trip Ready: Hitting the Road with Toddlers

Let me interrupt this post before it even starts.  I wrote this post before we left for our road trip last week.  I was anxious like you would not believe.  I was so silly being so worried, or maybe because I was so worried I was overly proactive in my preparations?  The trip was awesome, and all of these items were sooo helpful on our trip.  With 32 hours in the car with 2 littles, we did NOT use screens at all for entertainment!
So consider this a "tried & true" road trip kit!

Quite honestly, I have no idea how this is going to go.  I'm completely out of the know.  Say a prayer!  You see our kids have never been in the car longer than an hour, and when we've gone to the ranch during that hour we've traveled during nap time.  It's been easy: load up the car, and as soon as they are ready for their nap time, hop in that car, when they wake up we're at the ranch.  This time will be VERY different.  Road Trip Ready Hitting the Road with Toddlers Life with the Hawleys
I know families travel all the time, but this is a first for us.  We have not been anywhere since before kids, so this is certainly new territory for us.  We're headed to a family reunion in Nebraska for the Mr.'s family & it will be a 16 hour drive, without stops.  I imagine with 2 little ones it will take us much longer.  So in preparation I gathered as much as I could from friends & Dr. Google for activities in the car with toddlers.  This is what I packed:DSC_0438
Do you remember earlier this year when I posted about matching stickers? Well I took that idea and put it on a paper towel roll lol Same concept of having to match both colors and shapes/numbers except on the cardboard roll.  I figured this would take a lot of rotating and more hunting for the image than just the worksheet.  I think Dutch will really love this one.DSC_0444
What kid doesn't love snack & pipe cleaners?!  I figured the kids could work on fine motor skills (and snack) by threading the puffs onto the pipe cleaners.  I also figured we could make lots of things with the pipe cleaners, i.e. jewelry, animals, cards, things we see on the side of the road....limitless options :-) (actually we ended up making our own fishing poles and fish out of the pipe cleaners. It was really fun for everyone!)DSC_0445
Happy Baby Superfood Puffs ~ Pipe Cleaners (I just got at the grocery store)
Dutch made these fun popsicle puzzles with Aunt Nana on her visit last fall.  They are really easy and fun to make so I think pulling these out in the car will be fun.  I also want to introduce Go Fish! to Dutch.  I think he'll love it!DSC_0447
Magnetic paper dolls; that is the best way I can describe these.  Each scene comes with a magnetic portfolio and many characters that you can add and use to create fun.  I only got three, but there are so many to choose from!  If you are homeschooling multiplies I would recommend getting these so that one child can play with these while you're working with another.DSC_0448DSC_0450
There are several Usborne products that I have on reserve for the trip, & just because they will be so easy in the car.  This magic painting book is ah-maz-ing! (I want it for myself!!!)  All you have to do is add water and brilliant colors come out of each page.  So fun and easy for the car.  I also have these travel cards (sent from Aunt Nana) that I put on a ring for the car.  Each card has a unique activity and all dry erase.  Fun things like creating a face, following a maze, creating an ice cream sunday, etc. I also have 3 of the Wipe-Clean dry erase books (also gifted from Aunt Nana!- thank you!).  Each book is packed with fun and educational activities that we will use well after this trip in our school room.DSC_0451DSC_0452DSC_0454
Ya'll I'm the worse mother ever; I hate stickers.  I never liked them as a child, and I certainly don't now.  I've been hiding this sticker book for about 2 years, so I figured this was the perfect time to show it to Dutch.  A sticker book will delight him for, well hopefully, for hours lol  Dutch got one of these Smithsonian books for his birthday and we read it constantly!  Since he liked the one he got for his birthday so much I got him another one for the road.  There are several sections in each book, and each one comes with flash cards and a quiz at the end.  I really can't even express how much Dutch likes these.  I can't wait to see his face with this new one.DSC_0455
A friend recommended these to me, and goodness was she right!  I initially ordered 2 of these books and totally forgot I did. So when the kids saw me open the Amazon package they of course dove right in, which led me to order several more because they enjoined them for hours but I wanted to keep some novel for the trip.  Needless to say I tried to keep my eye out for the package when the second batch arrived.  Let me tell to about these.  These are flip books that each come with their own pen/brush that you fill with water (easily with a water bottle in the car).  The pages are white and with the water they change colors and reveal fun colorful pictures.  And get this: as soon as they dry they go back to the white page and the kiddos can do it all over again!  Completely reusable!  Go ahead and check these out; I highly recommend the Bible Stories one.DSC_0457DSC_0458
Well if you didn't think I was obsessed with Melissa & Doug's Water Wow products with the image above, I think I will seal the deal here.  So these cards are the same deal.  The cards come with a ring and a water brush. I LOVE that these cards on a ring so that they are fun to flip through but we also wont lose them in the car.  Again you just add water to the brush and you're able to see what animal is represented by the letter.  We are also going to use these in our homeschool classroom, especially tracing the letters and working on letter sounds.DSC_0461DSC_0466
My dad got this magnetic set for Dutch for Christmas and I've saved it for the trip!  Gotta keep things novel!  So there are a bunch of wooden and magnetic pieces that you shape into different items based on the cards.  But also you can use a dry erase marker on the board to draw scenes around the figures that you build.  I think this will be great in the car because everything is contained in the box that can easily sit on a lap, plus all of the pieces easily fold up into the case.DSC_0469DSC_0472
Y'all I can't believe I scored these at a consignment sale, but I DID!!!!  Please don't just look for clothes at those kinds of events because you really can find some good deals.  These are wooden boards with magnetic balls & pens that are attached (no pieces to lose!!!).  We've had family members come visit us and even play with these. Not going to lie, but I've lost myself in these before also lolDSC_0474
And lastly, I've order lots of new books that my kiddos haven't seen so that we will have some fun new stories to read in the backseat.DSC_0479
I'm as ready as I think I'm going to be for this trip.  Say a big 'ole prayer for us.  Here goes nothing.....on the road again!!!!!DSC_0442
xoxo Darby
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