Lessons on … Everything

Jackie Alvarez

Hello, Darling,

Have you ever noticed how your friends do some awesome things? Last summer a group of ladies in my life all took turns hosting classes on things they knew how to do well – arrange a bouquet of flowers, make shelves, canning. I was inspired and impressed each time we gathered. And even more so, I was honored my friends were willing to give the rest of us a little piece of themselves.

It felt awkward at first. We had all been on equal terms during our hangouts prior, but when someone was showing us their skill, they took the lead and the rest of us took the student role. What we found is once the lesson was over, nothing really changed, except we had more things to connect on and talk about. (Not that we were lacking for conversation!)

This month on Hello, Darling,we askedsome of our closest friends to share the nitty-gritty, how-to of the things they do well. There are recipes, craft ideas, household ideas, friendship ideas, relationship ideas – basically, we cover the entire gamut.

I hope as you read along, you will feel a bit more connected to the rest of us at Hello, Darling. Maybe you’ll be inspired to share something you do really amazing with us or the friends around you. Or maybe you’ll be bold enough to ask that friend of yours who always seems to make the best iced tea or find the best bargains or get her stainless steel streak free, just how she does it.

Before I sign-off, I’ll share one of my things-I-do-awesome with you. I make these things called Jackie Brownies. They are simple – I can whip them up in less than 10 minutes (not including baking time). They are delicious – always a crowd pleaser. And the more the merrier – because I think recipes should be shared.


4 oz box of chocolate pudding

2 cups cold milk

1 egg

1 box Devil’s Food chocolate cake mix (I like the kind with the extra cup of pudding in the mix!)

1/2 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*. Flour and grease 9×13″ pan OR use the special baking spray. (Don’t use regular cooking spray or your brownies will stick to the pan and you will be very, very sad.)

Whisk pudding mix and cold milk for two minutes. Add egg. Add cake mix.

Pour into pan.

Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Bake 30-35 minutes, or until cake springs back between the chocolate chips.

Note: They are best served a tiny bit warm, but you must tryand resist eating them directly out of the oven because hot chocolate chips are a messy affair. When it comes to serving, I like to cut them in squares. They are quite fluffy, and little cubes of warm, gooey chocolaty treats look fancy enough for someone to feel you went all out for them.

We hope March is a fun month on Hello, Darling and are excited to spend it with you.


Jackie Alvarez

Executive Managing Editor


What is one of your things-you-do-awesome?