last night on the green

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The only thing better than eating Famous Dave's is eating it on a field where you don't have to pay a waiter or worry about your kid screaming her head off in a high chair waiting for your food. It is a much smarter idea to just pick the meal when it's hot and ready, throw a blanket out and let your little monkey pick up sticks and eat your whole corn bread muffin {actually, I wasn't too happy about Evelyn eating my muffin. Oh, the sacrifices!}

over the long weekend...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I'll tell ya, folks. Humidity is evil. It can squelch your energy within seconds of walking out that door and put you in a heat coma. But anyway, besides being sticky icky, this weekend was super grand and very much needed. We didn't make any plans to leave town because a) everyone and their grandma was planning on doing the same and b) we just wanted to relax. Saturday we hit up Costco. The best/worst time to go is on a holiday weekend. If you're planning on buying stuff it's probably a bad time to go because the lines are horrendous. If you plan on just mooching off their samples galore then a holiday weekend is the best time to go because they bring out the fancy spreads like key lime pie and 5 types of burger patties.

I think the best part about this weekend is that I was camera free. Well, obviously not totally as the above testifies, but I didn't take one picture with my slr. Rather than being strapped down on getting the right photo, I just snapped a few with my phone and called it good. It was nice.

Two things. Memorial Day was Jared's birthday. We're both entering the otherside of the twenties this year. 26 is just too dang close to 30! When we were in the car I asked him "Do you remember what happened 10 years ago on your birthday?" He replied, "I told you I first loved you." Darn right, his little 16 year old self did!  I love you too, dear. Happy Birthday!

Lastly, how big is Evy Rae?! The girl is rockin' at life. She's going down slides by herself, climbing in her highchair, growing hair like a weed {although you can't see it because it's so blonde!}, a little fish in the water, and is getting more spunky everyday.

Life's Snapshots

Friday, May 25, 2012

I think that last photo there of Coldstone cake batter ice cream, whipped together with brownies, sprinkles and caramel sauce in the embrace of a waffle bowl describes perfectly how I am feeling these days. Bring on summer - with its bbqs, sunbathing, humidity, my protruding pregnant belly and all!

Also, if you want to kick off your Memorial Day weekend with a bang, start by voting for Evelyn HERE. I entered her in this Disney Contest, and for the next 5 weeks I'll be soliciting for your votes with a new photo each week. Odds of us winning are slim and we don't even want the grand prize. We just really want to win the fan sweepstakes, which happens to be a week at the hotel Jared worked at in Santa Monica. Home is calling us. Anyway, your votes would be appreciated in this small unlikely dream of ours :) Happy Holiday weekend!

little boy stuff

Thursday, May 24, 2012

To be honest, I was kinda scared to shop for boy stuff. Finding dainty girlie stuff is fairly easy, but boys? It's almost impossible to scan the racks of Target and find any article of clothing that isn't imprinted with Disney, giraffes or jersey numbers. Here's where H&M kids comes in, as well as Zara, sometimes Old Navy, and oddly enough JCPenney? {That's a question mark because I'm still confused by it to, but I found some great stuff there for less than $5}. 

It's also hard to be "crafty" with the male gender, but I think I see sewing bowties and constructing a homemade mobile in the near future. I'm kinda getting excited :) Mostly I'm looking forward to Evelyn having a playmate. I think that will be fun.

All sources HERE

we're growing new things over here

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wednesday afternoon Ev was consumed in fire. Ok, not really, but her forehead was a squelching 103.7. Without a cough or cold, it was easy to see that this girl was going through something other than sickness but something worse, teething. I swear, the hardest thing for me during this whole mommy thing has been teething. You just feel so bad and there's nothing you can do and you know it has to happen 20 times! {right? that's how many teeth babies have? I don't know. But it happens alot} I had heard that molars are the worst. I peaked inside Ev's mouth and there it was - her first molar cut through on her top right. Poor girl. She's been so lethargic the past 48 hours. The good part is she has been so calm and lets me hold her for hours with her all nakey. And to make our cuddles even more special, little brother likes to kick furiously when she's laying pressed against my tummy. All 3 of us huddled together :)

Happy Friday! Hope you have a great weekend!

ice cream jelly roll and a FRIENDS moment

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I should just have my mom come on here and blog her food, because most of what I post on here are her recipes. Yesterday afternoon I knew exactly what I wanted that night for a dessert. My mom's ice cream jelly roll. With such basic ingredients, I had everything already except for the ice cream! So Ev and I ventured to the grocery store and within an hour I had this thing whipped up! It's such a light summer time treat.
  • 1 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting
  • 1.5 qts ice cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and milk. Stir in the dry ingredients gradually. The batter will be thin. Pour into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Don't over bake, or it may crack.
  4. Generously dust a clean dish towel with confectioners' sugar. Turn the cake out onto the towel, and peel off the parchment paper. Gently roll up the cake using the towel, and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  5. Unroll the cake, and spread an even coating of ice cream on the top. Roll the cake back up into a tight spiral, and remove the towel.Wrap in waxed paper and let it re-freeze for 2-3 hours or for best results overnight. {I let ours freeze for 2 hours, but as you can tell from the photos, it's still not set. But we enjoyed it anyway!}
  6. Remove waxed paper and cut into slices. Drizzle with homemade fudge sauce.

This is kinda a funny story. My mom has this fudge sauce that it AMAZING! We use it on everything and I have never had a fudge sauce like it. The other day I was asking her where she got it and she said it's the standard one on the back of the condensed milk can! Haha, I had to laugh because it totally reminded me of this FRIENDS episode when Monica and Phoebe are trying to re-create Phoebe's dead grandma's chocolate chip cookie recipe and in the end Phoebe remembers it came from a french woman, "Nesley Toulouse" aka Nestle Tollhouse - it could be found right on the back of the bag :)

on the banks of the Potomac

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It was beautiful this past Saturday! To make the most of the sunny day, we packed a picnic and camped out for an hour or so on the Potomac. There's this great field that is right next to Reagan airport where you can watch the planes fly over head as they land. The first couple jet engines freaked Evelyn out a bit, but then she got excited for the next one to arrive. Combine sunglasses, water, dogs, and a big open grassy field to run haywire in and we had ourselves one happy girl, and consequently one happy mama and dada.

Mothers Day

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thinking about this son that I will be bringing in to the world and the daughter that I already have, my mind has been drawn lately on how I am to mother a girl and a boy. While instilling a basis for moral growth and character for each child will be the same, both has a gender role that I need to train them in. My main thing for both my son and daughter will be to teach them gender etiquette.

The world defines “feminism” as equal rights for women socially, politically, and economically. While I do believe that both men and women should be treated equally, I sometimes worry that so-called feminists are erasing what makes us feminine in what seems to be a waging war against males. I will say that I am a feminist, but definitely not the social activist kind. Rather, I believe in the beauty of what makes women feminine – gentleness, cultivation, refinement, modest, propriety. In short, I believe in being a lady.

I believe in the power of my gender. I believe that women have a role that men can not assume, and vice versa. I am so grateful to have the respect that womanhood has granted me – to have doors opened for me, to be courted, to be the heart of the home, to give birth. Being a woman is amazing. I want to raise Evelyn to be a lady. And being a lady doesn’t mean being submissive and overrun, but rather respect for self with high standards in thought and deed.

The counterpart of a lady is a gentleman. I’m still wrapping my head around the idea of raising a boy. As I tackled these thoughts in my head the other night, it just occurred to me how easy it will be afterall. I will raise him to be a man. That’s simple! I know what I want to see in a man, for I married one :) Just as I love being a woman, I love the role of a man. The two are so intertwined.

I am so grateful to be a mother. What a humbling experience that I get to go through every day. It’s not always roses, and lately it hardly has been, but it’s always unconditional in its love.

“Motherhood is the one thing in all the world which most truly exemplifies the God-given virtues of creating and sacrificing. Though it carries the woman close to the brink of death, motherhood also leads her into the very realm of the fountains of life, and makes her co-partner with the Creator in bestowing upon eternal spirits mortal life…. No language can express the power and beauty and heroism of a mother’s love. …” – David O. McKay
While I am grateful to be a mother today, I am most grateful to be a woman. Happy Mothers/Womens Day!

Life's instagram-ific!

Friday, May 11, 2012

follow on instagram @koakden

This week:
+ husband FINALLY got a haircut! He looks so dashing with shorter locks
+ the doc freaked me out a bit my telling me I have low amniotic fluid and scheduled me for another ultrasound in a month. A MONTH! That's a long time to keep a pregnant lady waiting. In the mean time I have to drink gallons of water and decrease my activity. Yeah, that's easy to do with a 15 month old...
+ I finished a book and just picked up The Hunger Games and Room to read. Which to start first? Do I even want to get into the whole Hunger Games thing?
+ Wednesday night I went out with the girls. 10 of us ladies crowded into Serendipity in Georgetown and just bought desserts - fried oreos, carrot cake, and mostly lots of their infamous frozen hot chocolate. It was a grand evening.

Winner of last week's giveaway announced here.
Happy Friday!!

O Shenandoah

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I know the best time to visit the Shenandoah is fall time, when the mountains are a brilliant red and orange, but I think spring time with wild flowers is also ideal. Since Luray Caverns happens to be just outside the valley a bit, we decide to picnic in the Blue Ridge for an hour or so. In my mind I had a nice meadow field pictured with a picnic blanket involved. However, right when we got in the car Evelyn fell asleep. Jared and I ended up pulling over on a lookout and just camped out on a wall admiring the vastness before us. I think that was the first time we were able to eat in peace and quiet for a very very long time. We got to hold hands, eat many chipsahoys, and one of us even did a back flip and almost slid off the cliff. As we made our way back down the mountain, Evy Rae awoke chipper and we stopped at a small ice cream stand to get some cones. That was the best darn soft serve I have ever had!

P.S. Jared makes fun of my belly hold because I don't frame it well and I'll admit that it looks super goofy in that pic. Oh well.

our weekend expedition to Luray

Monday, May 7, 2012

I spent my childhood in Richmond, Va and all the while I remember hearing about Luray Caverns. So naturally when I found myself transplanted here in Virginia again 14 years later, I packed my little family up for a day trip to explore one of nature's finest.

What we witnessed was incredible. I don't remember exactly how many millions of years the caverns are, but I do remember the tour guide saying that it takes 100 years for a stalactite to grow 1 inch! The lighting down there made it hard to crisp picture, but you get the idea.

While I was busy playing photographer, Jared was playing babysitter for the whole hour tour, keeping Ev from touching the million year old walls and preventing her from screaming so that the cave didn't vibrate for miles. I wish I could say that our first day trip as a family in months was a success, but a 15 month old makes things really exhausting super fast. We tried to let Ev run her energy out before heading in, but obviously echoing walls and hills to run down with puddles are irresistible. When we ended the tour and packed our squirmy child in the backseat, Jared turned to me and said "Sometimes it's really hard being her dad." I laughed and said, "And it's not hard being her mom?" I guess this is to say that pictures can paint a different story and make things look cheery when perhaps they were not the fondest memories afterall. And while I'm glad we were able to witness one of the wonders of the world, it sure made for one big headache. I don't know how my parents ever did trips with us 5 kids. That would set me right over the edge :)

Giveaway::Displaced Vintage {CLOSED}

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Today's giveaway is presented by Displaced Vintage, a boutique that houses vintage skirts, 70s faux fur coats, 80s cocktail dresses, eclectic jewelry and housewares - sounds fab, right? 

Displaced Vintage is offering 1 lucky reader a $25 shop credit toward any purchase!

You have 3 opportunities to enter {leave a separate comment for each}:

1. Be a follower of Little Almanac
2. Like Displaced Vintage on Facebook
3. Follow Displaced Vintage on tumblr

Giveaway closes Thursday, May 10th. Best of luck!

UPDATE: Giveaway is now closed. Congrats to our winner!

that Sunday that it was sunny & a thank you!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I think it's spring again? I'm not sure. Mother Nature over here in Virginia decided to be summer in March and winter in April so we'll see if May flowers really appear, but Sunday gave me some hope! It was beautiful outside. One thing I can not get over is how much greenery there is around these parts! The trees and shrubs are all so dense and it feels like nature is so close, even when I'm just lounging on our balcony. I love it!

This is totally off subject, but is anyone else peeved about picnic being gone? Way to go google destroying the easiest editing program there is. Google + is not up to par and you can't even create simple collages in their so called "creative kit." So after realizing that making collages myself in photoshop took for-EV-ER [yes, meant to be said like Squints from Sandlot], I rummaged through some forums of others who were as disgruntled as me and one led to me this website that is JUST like picnic. It's so freakin easy again to make a collage. Hooray! I just thought I'd pass it along in case there were others out there who thought their life ended with picnic. 

P. S!!! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR SHARING IN OUR EXCITEMENT! WE ARE SO THRILLED TO HAVE A MINI MISTER OAKDEN ON THE WAY. I wish I had time to write each of you individual to say thank you. Starting this blog, I didn't have the expectation that I would meet so many wonderful, kind, and loving people through documenting our life, but I am so grateful to "know" each of you. Thanks again!