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Happy Birthday, My Love!


Happy 31st Birthday to my best friend, my husband!
I love this man very, very much! He’s a wonderful husband and a wonderful father! And he still looks 18… so that means when I look 60 he’s going to look 30 and everyone will think I robbed the cradle!
We woke up to birthday muffins.


The girls enjoyed the singing and celebrating as much as he did.
Paige only ate the icing.
I treated him to a very romantic gift: a bee suit.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get my act together and it’s not here but he was excited when I told him.
Our old neighbor in Anniston keeps bees and has offered to hand them down to Justin.
He’s been waiting for this suit before he can go get them. {Don’t worry, we’re not keeping them at our house.}

Since it is Justin’s birthday… let’s talk about bacon and/or ham. {Not that either really have anything to do with him or his birthday but generally men really like both… and well, I do too!} I was raised in a “hot breakfast” house. That means that most every morning we had a hot breakfast. Well, what goes around comes around and ’round here we eat hot breakfasts… most of the time. I’ve mentioned before that we really like eggs and what goes better with eggs than bacon! But really bacon is a mess. The pre-cooked is never as good as the real deal and well the real deal is messy no matter how you cook it. I’ve tried every method under the sun {even baking it and my oven was covered in bacon grease for weeks}. So last week I decided to forget the bacon… we’ll go for ham. It was a huge success and the whole family enjoyed it and I appreciated the fact that it was easy and mess-less. Here’s one of our favorites…. a Bay’s english muffin {buttered of course}, a fried egg {over easy}, browned deli ham, a scoop of cheese grits, and good ole “grind” from the peppermill. If you don’t allow your foods to touch this is not going to appeal to you. But you could certainly seperate all these and it would still be good.


It’s really just plain ole brown sugar deli ham {the prepackaged kind by Hillshire Farm}. I browned it in the pan with the eggs and it was delicious.

Ok, speaking of ham and bacon. Do you add it to your peas? {I’m not talking about the English ones}. I’ve learned living in the south there are other kinds of peas. There are 3 we like that are common around here: white acre, black-eyed, and field. All of which are better when simmered on low for an hour with bacon or ham. But when it’s 4:45 and you’re just getting a bag of peas out of the freezer {Which someone from church brought you when you had a baby. Don’t you love it!? I really do… that someone brought us bags of frozen peas… and I’m not being sarcastic… I think it’s fabulous.} Anyway… so when time is of the essence and you must get those peas on and there’s no bacon in sight {nor do you want to fool with messing with it} you can pull out this…


Ham bullion. It will make your peas taste so good that your kids will want seconds. This is one of those tricks that I didn’t know about until recently. Sister’s MIL always uses this and it’s a DELIGHTFUL shortcut! So, try it out… it’s in none other than the ETHNIC FOOD AISLE at your local Walmart. And will probably be seen with the JAMON side facing the aisle… the back of the box says HAM.

Today is Wednesday, that means “curbside pickup” for not only the garbage men… but me also. I had to cut mom off in a conversation earlier so I could rummage through someone’s trash and get this table out… I could at least get $5 for it at the yard sale, don’t you think?


But the girls have had a lot of fun sitting at it today so I’m not sure they’ll let me part with it. See their stamps? The next post will give you another idea of what you can do with the $1 stamps at Michael’s.

Thanks for following me on my rabbit trail of a birthday post!

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  • Anonymous
    February 18, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    I cook bacon in the oven. I line the baking sheet with foil, then put a cooling rack (for baked goods) on top of the foil and lay the bacon on top of the rack. It is so easy and hardly any clean up. Just be careful when getting out of the oven becuase there will be hot grease in the bottom of the pan.

  • kdurec
    February 18, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Happy Birthday to Justin! The table looks like a good dig-out-of-the garbage find!

  • Anonymous
    February 18, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    the ham bullion is also great in green beans!

  • Erin
    February 18, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Happy Birthday Justin! He does look 18, but so do you D! Delicious breakfast! I’m forever hooked on Bay’s!! So good. Love you!!

  • Anonymous
    February 18, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Darby – I am really curious and I know several others have already asked…but why did you move your blog? Please post and let us know…

  • Anonymous
    February 18, 2009 at 4:30 pm


  • Amanda
    February 18, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    I’ve been stalking for a while – not really sure how I ended up here but – another Dothan blog I think. Anyhow, I don’t normally comment but peas made me come out of the woodwork. I love peas (purple hull) cooked with bacon but have always hated the bacon floating around in them so THANKS for the tip! I love all of the delicious recipes and craft ideas. I should have said thanks a long time ago for the label tutorial as well!

  • akb228
    February 18, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Happy Birthday Justin!!! I <3 birthdays!!!! Looks like the fabulous wife and kids made it a special day.

    ~Alison Todd

  • Gray Matters
    February 18, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I make my mom bring field peas on the plane for me frozen in ziplock bags! People in Maryland think I’m crazy to get so excited over peas, but when I have them over for some they totally understand!

  • Dianne
    February 18, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Happy Birthday Justin!!!

  • Ashley
    February 18, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Yay for February birthdays 🙂 And, sounds like Justin’s birthday was slightly better than mine! Ha! Great post, and I am so jealous of your trash piles. I guess it’s because I don’t have kids yet, but I really do want to get good at dumpster diving! I did it in college…heck yeah! We found some great furniture doing it that way!

  • Blair P. Dubak
    February 18, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    I haven’t had good cheese grits in ages, like since I lived in L’ville with you gals! Seeing that picture of the breakfast sandwich made my mouth water…please send the recipe!!!

  • Anonymous
    February 18, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Have you ever tried bacon in the microwave? You might be horrified but it’s good….at least my husband thinks so! Depends how you like your bacon, though.

  • Hannah Fields
    February 18, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    We have friends that raise their own bees. The honey is so yummy! Good luck. i want to see pics of you in the bee outfit.

  • Allyson
    February 18, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Hey D! I had to comment about the ham shortcut. You really need to talk to my mom. I didn’t know I was holding back my cooking knowledge from you all this time, but your hints are things my mom has been doing all my life (strawberry pretzel salad, ham shortcut, etc.) You should try Allen’s Southern Style canned green beans – they sell them at most grocery stores – add the ham substitute to them and a lot of pepper and they taste just like my grandmother canned them and put them up! 🙂 Enjoy!!

  • Hillary @ The Dunham Diaries
    February 18, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    You are killing me with your ethnic ham flavoring. Oh. So. Funny. I will have to give it a try though. I do LOVE some peas- purple hull are my fav with ham AND/ or bacon. Or a few yummy green beans in there to mix it up.

    And I’m beginning to see why you are having a garage sale. I was once a dumpster diver, too, and I think it must be the weight around my midsection that is preventing me from doing that too much anymore! I don’t know if I can get back out! 🙂 Really- That is a GREAT find!
    And Happy Birthday to Justin! He does still look like he did in high school! What is his secret? Please pass along my hi and happy birthday!

  • Courtney
    February 18, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    I’m a salt pork girl. Salt pork in the peas and butter beans are smack your momma good!

    Hopefully your neighbors won’t make it to the Garage Sale to see their table in the mix. Or hopefully you’ll just sell it first 🙂

    Happy Birthday Justin!!

  • Rhett, Megan, Claire and Ford
    February 19, 2009 at 6:02 am

    My MIL uses the Goya flavoring all the time in her “butter beans” (which is what they call all varieties of beans and peas – including limas- which kind of drives me crazy but that is neither here nor there). The only thing about it is that it is MSG so if anyone is sensitive to MSG or has a issue with it you may want to be careful. I love the idea of taking some peas (and maybe some preserves or other fun treats) to hide away for a rainy day for a new baby!

  • No.35style
    February 19, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Happy Birthday to your husband…great picture of you two! That ham, egg, grit combo you posted looks delish. I do love peas and add bacon grease to them when cooking. I also put it in cabbage and turnips, etc. I cook my bacon in the microwave on a microwave thing made for cooking bacon..you can find it at wmart.

  • Trina
    February 19, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Let me share my secret. I use chicken bullion in my green beans. SO good.

    Love the stamps!