Saturday, April 30, 2011

Favorite Fashion Finds

As some of you may know, my dream job, besides being an English teacher, which I am blessed to already be doing, would be to moonlight as Stacy London from What Not to Wear

First of all, I would love the wardrobe (and I would take her body and hair, too, while I'm at it).  However, I would also love the idea of helping someone else choose clothes without spending any of my own money.  I don't know how good I would actually be at putting all the elements together, but it would certainly be fun trying.

In that same vein, I often come across items I love, as does my sis, and we email each other back and forth with clothes or shoes that we have found and love, but probably will never buy.  So when I started this blog, I thought I might, every now and then, devote a space for some of those items.  Maybe someone out there will have the extra cash to splurge on something you see...or maybe you'll decide my taste is terrible.  :)  Either way, here are a few fashions I love right now.

I love the girly nature of these leopard and pink flats.  I don't wear flats a lot to school, but I would definitely wear these.  You can find them here.

I might be the only person who loves these sparkly flats, but I think they are perfect if you, like me, work at RCHS and want to support the Lakers.  Or maybe if you just like a touch of nautical attire. They are the perfect color (They come in navy, too.) and the sparkly anchor adds an extra Laker touch.  You can find these shoes here

I love dresses, especially because pants are so much harder to find the perfect fit, for my body type anyway.  This dress, from Kohl's, is one of my favorites for the summer.  It is romantic and still modest, and I love the rosette.

Also from Kohl's, I LOVE these cropped jeans.  I think they are more flattering than traditional denim capri pants, and I love the dark wash.  They are also at a very reasonable price, as certain brands of denim are SO expensive.  You can find them here.
I love ruffles, and I think this dress would be perfect for spring/summer, with a cardigan now, and bare when it gets warmer.  The best part is that it's from Walmart and is only $15!  (It also comes in 3 other colors.) You can find it here.

Those are my favorite items of late.  I hope at least one of you out there appreciates, as my mom calls it, my "gaudy" style.  :)   And in case anyone is wondering, I wear a size 8 shoe.  ;)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Facts and Photos

It is difficult to believe that Friday has come back around again.  This week has been extremely busy, but also filled with blessings.  Here are some random facts for the week.

- On Monday, Jason and I headed to Somerset to search for some clearance Easter decor.  We had never decorated for Easter, but with Connor, it is much more fun to decorate for the holidays.  We got a few Easter pieces, but also came upon this great tray (see below) at Walmart...for only $9!  I think we'll use it as a spring/summer table centerpiece.

- Tuesday, Connor got his hair cut.  It wasn't his first cut (I think it was actually the third.), but it was still sad to see how big he looks with the floppy hair gone.  He really is a little boy these days.

big boy haircut

- Connor is constantly learning new words.  Today, in the few minutes I brought him to school at the end of the day, he learned the word lock.  We took a walk this afternoon, and he said birds (minus the "r" sound).  I love to see how eager he is to learn...praying that continues once he is school age. 

- Connor has also, after several months of talking, finally given a name to Aunt Linds.  Until now, he would always just point to her when her name was said by someone else, but hadn't given her a moniker...until yesterday.  Aunt Lindsay is, to Connor, "Ninny."  The kid doesn't know how accurate he is.   :)

- Thursday night, Jason, Connor, and I were blessed to be able to attend the Natalie Grant, Brandon Heath, and Mercy Me concert.  Despite having to leave early, which was well past Connor's typical bedtime, we had a fantastic evening.  Connor loves music as much as Jason and I do, and he bobbed his head and clapped along.  I love concerts of any sort, but there is something extra special about seeing artists whose passion in life is to write and perform songs that point people to Christ. 

- Although I didn't wake up at 4 a.m. to watch it, I did catch a glimpse of the royal wedding while getting ready for school this morning.  I cannot say that I was necessarily eagerly awaiting this day, but once I saw her gorgeous dress, the beautiful Westminster Abbey, and all the fanfare, it did remind me of being a little girl and reading stories and watching movies about princesses who are swept away by the handsome prince.  It was nice to see that fairytales MAYBE do still exist.  Also, any wedding I see always takes me back to the memories of my own, which is always a fond reminiscence.  Jason was definitely my prince that day. 

That's all for the random thoughts this week.  Below are some photos from this week, as well as a few I didn't post from spring break, particularly of a fantastic play date in Richmond with Connor's buddy Leila Grace (and her new brother, Luke).

my son, the cookie monster

playdate with Leila Grace

sharing cookies

Connor's newest playmate, Luke

This was taken today, Friday, April 29th.  Connor is 19 months old.

I am blessed with a happy, silly boy. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Favorite Things Thursday -- Link-up with Miss Melanie

A friend and former colleague, Miss Melanie, is hosting a link-up on Thursdays entitled Favorite Things Thursday.  As I am always in need of new topics to write about, I am attempting my first link-up.

If you want to link-up, too, here is the button:

Today's topic is to show our favorite book.  It is nearly impossible for me to talk about books and mention only one, but of every book I've ever read, besides the Bible, the one that touched me the most is definitely To Kill a Mockingbird.

This is also one of my favorite units to teach my freshmen classes.  We actually have just started this novel in my classes, and I am reminded yet again how many wonderful themes are contained within this seemingly simple book about a young girl growing up in the South.  Each time I read, I am reminded again, to "walk in someone else's shoes" for a little while, and no matter how many times I've read it (over 40 now), I still find myself teary-eyed at the end. 

photo from our Palm Poetry: Your Three Words activity this year

Thank you, Melanie, for hosting this new link-up!  Have a great Thursday!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter!

This Easter season has been the best in recent memory.  I suppose that having a child of one's own changes the perspective on how immense a sacrifice God made for us in giving Jesus to die for our sins, and I am more grateful than ever.

Our first Easter celebration of the season was with Jason's family in Louisville.  We spent time hanging out at their house, eating and relaxing, and we also visited Jason's Papa Jack, as well as Nanny and Lyle while we were in Louisville.  We enjoyed the time spent with them, and Connor got some new fabulous toys and lots of candy.  :)  We also enjoyed, while in Louisville, an amazing Palm Sunday service at Sojourn Community Church, a church we love dearly.

Easter celebrations in Louisville

The second celebration happened this past Saturday at Mom and Dad's house, where we colored eggs with Connor.  There aren't too many photos from this experience, because Mom, Linds, and I spent most of our time trying to get Connor not to throw the eggs (which he called "ball") and then picking them up when he inevitably did throw them across the tile floor.  Needless to say, the finished products were not that beautiful.

Connor's first experience coloring Easter eggs

Saturday evening we headed to Gran's for our annual grandkids' Easter egg hunt.  Yes, the adult grandchildren still hunt Easter eggs.  Why, might one ask?  Well, the plastic eggs are filled with cold, hard CASH.  Connor, of course, had his own separate hunt all alone in a separate part of the yard after our blood bath.  Seriously, it gets pretty intense when 18-30 year-olds are vying for some extra cash.  :)  Honestly, it is one of my favorite family traditions, and we always make memories to reminisce about next year.  This year, however, was extra special, because I, Laura Ashley Davidson, collected the most money, and as a reward, Aunt Mary Beth awarded me an extra $20.  I am quite certain that everyone, myself included, was shocked that the least athletic and competitive cousin won the coveted prize.  I was pretty stoked to walk away from Gran's Easter celebration about $70 richer than when I came.  :)

a tense moment in the Gosser/Egnew/Davidson Easter egg hunt of 2011

displaying our spoils

Aside from the egg hunt, we had a delicious meal, AMAZING cupcakes baked by Mom, and lots of fun watching Connor hunt eggs for the first time. 

champagne and strawberry cupcakes by Mom

On Easter morning, Connor opened his Easter basket from us, which included a Thomas train/flashlight, a new Yo Gabba Gabba DVD, and a Gabba coloring book (He has taken an interest lately in scribbling.).  Jason then rushed off to get ready for church (He plays in the praise band.), and as is usual on a holiday, I was scrambling around trying to get Connor and myself ready in time, a little more frazzled than usual, and we ended up being a few minutes late, which I HATE.  However, the music and message were wonderful, and by the time Sunday school was over, I had completely forgotten I was ever stressed.

Easter morning at home

We headed after church to Grandma Egnew's house for lunch,  where we enjoyed loads of food, and Kim's famous, amazing cheesecake for dessert.  Everyone was enteratined, as usual, by Connor's constant antic.  I'm afraid his cuteness factor will one day wear off,  but for now, everyone still seems to have fun with him wherever we go.  :)

a happy Easter boy on his way to lunch at Gma Egnew's

 with Mommy on Easter, in our matching stripes

the Davidson family Easter 2011 photo

enjoying some dessert with Aunt Debbie

Easter with Great Gma and Gpa Egnew

Lastly, we headed to Mom and Dad's, where Connor was showered with more gifts from Mimi and Pops, as well as Aunt Linds.  This child is still pretty sweet, despite being tremendously spoiled by everyone he knows, but that may not last.  :)

opening Easter gifts with Mimi, Pops, and Aunt Linds

Aunt Linds got him Mr. Potato Head

with Mimi and Pops

The older Connor gets, the more fun each of these holidays become, and the more I realize how much I want to instill tradition, values, and faith into our precious son.  I pray that Jason and I can raise this blessing we have been given in a way that will honor Him.
On one last semi-Easter related note, my favorite song of the Easter season  (or any time of year) is John Mark McMillan's "Death in His Grave."  He is one of my favorite Christian artists (You can check out his blog here.). It isn't just the way his music sounds, but the depth of relevancy of his lyrics is what I really love. This song makes me tear up every time.  So if you haven't checked out John Mark, please do so.  Just in case you want to do so now, here is the link to him performing "Death in His Grave."  (On a side note, I am so glad to see how many genres there are now of Christian isn't just the option of gospel or contemporary anymore; there truly is something for every music lover.)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Facts and Photos

I thought I might try to use Fridays as a time to relay some random facts about our life, family, Connor especially, as well as post any pictures from the week that might not relate to a specific blog post.  I am certain this will more than likely be a random conglomeration of information, but as it is 9 p.m. on a Friday, most of my communication skills are frazzled at best.

So, in no certain order:

     - Connor is talking like CRAZY.  He repeats words he loves over and over and OVER again (car, truck, bus, Mommy, Daddy, Muno)

     - Speaking of Muno, Connor's favorite show right now is Yo Gabba Gabba.  As children's programming goes, Jason and I actually don't mind to watch it with Connor.  It is a bit trippy, but the music is good, there are teachable moments/concepts, and the fact that he is enthralled with something so fully makes me smile (and it is a few minutes each day that he will let me snuggle with him). 

      - His favorite Gabba character is Muno, and he carries around a gigantic stuffed Muno everywhere we go...literally.  Muno goes with us to babysitters', in his crib at night, and even to church.  He is not an attractive creature (see photo below) , but Connor loves him, and so I love him, too.  :)

Connor and his buddy Muno

      - Connor has learned to pick his nose (I'm sure he learned this from his father.).  He calls the contents of his nostrils a "boog," and although this should be disturbing, it is actually cute because he will pick his nose with one hand, then make a flicking motion with the other hand, which never actually entered his nose.  :)

      - I am loving the nighttime phase Connor is currently in.  We have a set routine each night.  He either takes a bath or shower (He loves both, but showers are the current favorite), we read a book, watch an episode of Gabba (while cuddling), and then he looks at me and says, "Rock?' (Sidenote: A few months ago, he wanted nothing to do with being held or rocked.  He just wanted you to lay him down; he would put his hands behind his head, say "Night, night" and he was out.  Now, though, he wants to be sung to and rocked for just a couple of minutes, and I love every second.)  So, I carry him upstairs, we say our prayers, and then I sing him a few songs (almost always including "Twinkle, Twinkle" and "Jesus Loves Me"), and he and Muno lay down and drift off to sleep.  I am trying to treasure each second, because I know these days will be over much too soon.

      - Connor LOVES being outside.  He loves to run, throw rocks, play in the dirt, attempt to drink out of the spigot, "ride" anything (golf carts, lawn mowers, toys with wheels, etc...), look at animals, and wave at passing cars.  I hope he continues to love the outdoors and being active.

my outside boy

      - If you like fun blogs, I am currently obsessed with reading Jon Acuff's blog, Stuff Christians Like.  It is a funny take on Christians, from a Christian.  Jon is a witty writer (He also works for Dave Ramsey, which is a plus in my book.), and he really takes on some issues about Christianity that are sometimes lighthearted, sometimes serious, and often about how others see us.  I hope you'll check it out.  He also has a book of the same title.

      - Jason and I, while visiting Jason's parents in Louisville, got to go on a rare date.  No, it wasn't a trip alone to Walmart to buy stuff for small group (Oh wait, we actually did do that) or a grocery run, or some other place that just wouldn't be productive for Connor to tag along; it was a real date.  We went to a movie (Source Code -- It was complex but interesting) and out to eat (Cheddar's -- I had a delish burger, one with those yummy onion straws on top, and a salad instead of healthy, right?)  :)  It was a fun night.

      - Also while in Louisville, we got to have lunch at one of Jason's favorite spots, Mark's Feed Store.  Althought I am not as much of a barbecue fan as he is, I must admit their pulled chicked is delicious.  However, the best thing on the menu is the grilled corn on the cob...amazing.  Connor was actually asleep on my shoulder for the whole meal, otherwise I would have snapped a photo to post.  Next time.  All that to say, if you are in Louisville or New Albany (there are four total locations), and you love barbecue, try Mark's.

      - Lastly for random facts this week, my students just finished a unit on Romeo and Juliet.  It is, every year, one of my top two favorite units to teach.  I love the story (despite the fact that it is a tragedy), the involvement of the students (we choose parts for each act and even reenact a few fight scenes), and the projects they present (At the end of the unit, students make a product to show their knowledge of the play...and sometimes they are awesome.  I get tombstones, videos, ending rewrites, tshirts, fake Facebook pages, etc...).  I love to see them get to excited about a play that was written over 400 years ago.  I know I am such a nerd, but it just makes my heart happy to see students appreciate literature, at least once in the year.  :)  Oh, and did I mention my other favorite part of the unit?  We get to watch the 1996 film version of R&J, starring my middle school dream guy, Leonardo DiCaprio.

Seriously, what's not to love about Romeo and Juliet?   :)

Okay...done with random facts.  Below you fill find some random photos of the past couple of weeks.  Have a great weekend!

opening his Easter basket from the gparents in Louisville

I love my sister.  She knows of my obsession with Peeps, and bought me, yes, you saw it right, a Peeps Pop.  It was delicious.

Connor watching Gabba this afternoon with Daddy.

my new favorite nail polish color: Don't Mess with OPI 

Have a blessed weekend, and Happy Easter!  I am always overwhelmed when I think of the sacrifice Christ made for us.  I should remember to feel this grateful every day of the year.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Foray into French Toast

If you know our families at all, we like to eat.  Whether it's a home-cooked meal or a restaurant, we simply love food, and the fellowship that goes along with it.  When I started thinking about writing a blog, I knew that I wanted food to play a role.

When visiting Louisville, one of our favorite spots, especially for breakfast, is Lynn's Paradise Cafe.  Jason's breakfast standard is bacon and eggs, but my favorite by far is the Bourbon Ball French Toast (although the BLT Fries are also delicious).

At Lynn's, about to devour their famous French toast
I have always wanted to try to make this dish at home, but every time I looked at the recipe, I'd get overwhelmed and never follow through.

However, during spring break I finally printed off the recipe, went to the grocery, and invited my parents and sister over for breakfast that Wednesday, to ensure that I wouldn't back out.  I am happy to was a HUGE success!  Jason even gave it a 10 out of 10.

Below, I have posted the recipe from Food Network (Lynn's was on an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay), as well as some notes of my own about the changes I made.  This recipe did take about an hour, including prep and cook time, but it was well worth it for a special breakfast treat.  I will definitely make it again.  Hope you enjoy!

Finished product

Bourbon Ball French Toast


  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
French Toast:
  • 1 (16-ounce) loaf firm textured bread, preferably a baguette (The restaurant uses cinnamon swirl bread, so that is what I bought, even though that isn't what this recipe called for. I loved the extra kick of cinnamon.)
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • Bourbon Vanilla Custard, recipe follows
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Kentucky Bourbon Whipped Cream, recipe follows
  • 1 pint fresh sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup toasted pecan halves

For the batter:
Beat all batter ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.

For the French Toast:
Slice the baguette into 18 thick slices. Soak the slices in the batter for about 3 minutes, turning to coat evenly on each side.  (I would actually suggest veering from the recipe here.  On the first few slices, I left them for a couple of minutes and they were way too saturated.  I would just dredge them for a few seconds.)

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.

Lift the bread from the batter and place it in the hot pan. Add only enough slices to fit easily in the pan. Saute on both sides until golden brown. Keep warm until all slices have been cooked.

Place 3 slices on each plate. Drizzle with warm Bourbon Vanilla Custard. Garnish with chocolate syrup and Kentucky Bourbon Whipped Cream. Top with sliced strawberries and toasted pecan halves. Serve immediately.

Bourbon Vanilla Custard:
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Kentucky bourbon  (I left this out and the consistency was still good.)
Heat half-and-half and whipping cream in a small saucepan over low heat, until the mixture begins to simmer.

Remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a stainless steel bowl for about 2 minutes or until the mixture thickens and lightens in color. Slowly pour the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return the custard to the saucepan and place over low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture reaches 170 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and bourbon. Serve immediately or hold over a hot water bath.
Yield: 3 1/2 cups

Kentucky Bourbon Whipped Cream: 
(I just used premade whipped cream, but I'm sure this would be yummy)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
Whip cream in well chilled mixing bowl just until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and bourbon and whip just long enough to incorporate. Taste and adjust flavors. Chill until ready for use.
Yield: 3 cups

Ready to dig in

Connor stuffed his face, too!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Here We Go...

I have been debating for a few months whether or not to start a blog.  I still have those fears of whether or not I will post some horrendous spelling/grammar error without noticing, or if anyone will even read.  However, with some encouragement from friends, colleagues at school, and Jason, I have decided to dive in.  I see this experience as a means to hone my writing skills, something I need to do more often, as well as to post about some of my favorite things in life: family, friends, food, etc...

Jason has agreed to post as well from time to time (we'll see how that goes), and I envision this experience as something that Connor will be able to see someday and know more about his childhood moments.  I am not a scrapbooker, so this is my version of keeping the special (and ordinary) moments of the Davidson family alive.

If you haven't already figured it out, the title of the blog comes from my favorite book of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird.  My witty husband came up with this and several other titles, but this one stuck.

The Davidsons

 I hope you enjoy...even if it's just my mom reading.  :)