Friday, February 24, 2012

February Photo a Day - Work, Shoe

For yesterday's photo theme, where I work, I submit the full color marquee that everyone sees as they drive onto post.


Did you know that Fort Jackson graduates more than 50% of incoming soldiers every year? Roughly 1,000 soldiers graduated Basic Training every week! So Wednesdays (family day) and Thursdays (graduation day) are busy days on post. As in, don't bother trying to eat at the PX. And definitely get gas at the small shoppette.

Anyway, it took me a while to get used to working for the Army. Having grown up an Air Force brat and then marrying into the AF, it was a difficult transition. But I enjoy my job and my coworkers and am proud to serve soldiers at Fort Jackson in the tiny capacity that I do! After all, Victory Starts Here! (Sorry. I couldn't resist.)

For today's theme, Shoes, here is the pair of sparkly flats that I wear probably more than any other shoe. I got them last summer on sale at Dress Barn. They are starting to get a little worn out though, so it may be time to invest in another pair of every day flats.

Sparkly Shoe

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February Photo A Day - Drink, Hate, Handwriting, Fave

I'm actually doing well at taking my daily photos. However, I'm pretty lousy at making the time to upload them. FatMumSlim has a March Photo a Day challenge I'd like to participate in, but I might have to rethink my strategy. It's just not realistic for me to blog daily.

Having said that, let me catch up on the February Photo A Day challenge!

For the 18th, Drink, here is my morning cuppa from this past Saturday. I'm not sure how I ever functioned before PG Tips.


For the 19th, Something You Hate to Do, here are the burnt pancakes I made for my family. I consider myself a pretty decent home chef, but for some reason, I straight suck at making pancakes.

Burnt Pancakes

It's kind of a rubbish picture, and I almost did some editing. Then I thought, "The pancakes sucked. Why shouldn't the picture?"

For the 20th, Handwriting, here is a snapshot of some notes of mine at work. When I put my mind to it, I have pretty decent handwriting. I actually hand addressed all of our wedding invites. And to blatantly toot my own horn, I think I did a good job! But my day-to-day handwriting is nothing specialy. Some days it's barely legible.


And for today, A Fave Photo of You, here is a self-portrait taken while laying beneath the Chicago bean. A great trip, and one of my favorite pictures of myself. I think it pretty much sums up exactly who I am, which is mostly just a big goof in a hoodie.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

February Photo A Day - Time

It's been a long week. Lots of late nights between Valentine's Day prep and the Quicken transition. So I was happy it was Friday. Especially since Monday is a holiday! Thank you, presidents!


I had a short day already because I was out in the morning accompanying Caleb's preschool class on a field trip to the zoo. In spite of that (or maybe because of that!) I was eagerly counting down to the weekend by mid afternoon.

A trip to the zoo with 1 four year old makes me tired. A trip with 34 four year olds just plain wiped me out! At least they were well  behaved kids! Those preschool teachers are doing a good job of keeping them in line!

Friday, February 17, 2012

February Photo A Day - Something New

Ooo! I'm excited for this one.

My Valentine took me to Best Buy this week for a bit of upgrading. First, we picked out Quicken.  I've been a Microsoft Money user for years, but my version is outdated and getting buggy, so it was time for an update. Apparently, Microsoft is no longer making Money, so I've switched over to Quicken.


Let me qualify this. I'm in the process of switching over. The accounts are synced up. Now to transfer the bill reminders, etc. I think I'm probably at about 50-60% complete with the transition.

And I got a new camera! Whoop whoop! I'm super excited about this baby!

Oh, baby

It's a Sony NEX 5N, and I pretty much adore it, so far. It's compact enough to still make it convenient to use, but advanced enough to take some pretty awesome pictures (without being so advanced that I'd be lost!)

I'm not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination. But I do like to think of myself as a bit of a documentarian. I love to document things...whether it's on Facebook or my blog or with pictures. I just want to remember. So I'm pretty excited to put my busted up, taped up Nikon S-51 back on the shelf and to move on to bigger and better things with my Sony!

Happy Valentine's Day to me!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February Photo A Day - Phone

I keep a charger at work because I tend to forget to charge my phone overnight. I also have a charger in my car.


In spite of having three charges, I still occasionally forget to charge my phone at all, much to my husband's irritation.

Silly electronic leash.

February Photo A Day - Heart

It isn't a heart, but here is Caleb's Valentine for this year. Thanks for the inspiration, Pinterest!


For the record, his head wasn't cut off in the original picture, but it printed that way. Bummer! I still love it, though. :)

February Photo A Day - Blue


The most beautiful set of baby blues I've ever laid eyes on.

February Photo A Day - Inside Your Closet

One of my favorite things about this house is my closet. First of all, it's huge. Second of all, it's all mine!


I knew this house was a serious contender when I saw there were seperate closest in the master bedroom!


Honestly, one of our bedrooms in England was about the size of my closet here. There's a lot about England I miss. That tiny bedroom ain't one of those things!

February Photo A Day - Makes You Happy

Saturday was my neice's 3rd birthday party. This is Caleb and his cousin Sophia showing some love to the birthday girl, Krista!

Krista Birthday 2012 026 b

I love how much Caleb loves his cousins! I only wish we lived closer to the rest of them!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February Photo A Day - Self Portrat

I haven't forgotten about February Photo a Day. But I have gotten a bit too busy to sit down and blog. So pardon me while I catch up on the last few days!

Here's a self-portrait from last week. Friday we took Caleb to his very first monster truck rally, which he loved! Everyone warned us about the noise, so we invested in some inexpesive hearing protection. Thank goodness we did. It WAS loud!


However, nobody warned us we'd be sitting in a cloud of noxious exhaust fumes for two hours! My eyes were burning in the beginning! I wished I had brought my onion goggles! Maybe next time!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

February Photo A Day - Front Door

I'm cheating by sneaking this one in a day early. But tomorrow is going to be a long day, and I'm not sure I'll be home before 9. I turn into a pumpkin around 10, so I figured if I was going to do this at all, I better do this today!

This is the front door to the very first house we've ever owned! (You know, the one we live in now!) We typically have some ferns on the porch, but they are inside for the winter.

Knock Knock

And then, just because that was a really boring pic, here's a picture of the front door of our house in England. When Tommy was deployed, Zeus used to spend a good portion of every night sitting by the door, whining, waiting for him to come home.


Now Zeus spends a good portion of every evening trying to get into the trash in hopes that he'll find a snack. Bad dog!

February Photo A Day - Sun

Sunrise over Gate 2 at Fort Jackson while waiting to get on post this morning.


Sheesh, I have to get to work early.

Also, not taken today, but because I love this picture for all the memories it brings back, here's a sunset off the veranda of our room on the Disney Magic on the Disney cruise we took two summers ago.

Sunset Disney Cruise

I believe we were leaving Corsica when I took this one. I took a sunrise/sunset pic almost every day on the boat. Every time I see this picture, my heart squeezes up a little missing that boat.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

February Photo A Day - Button

Today I'm going to use the February Photo a Day theme as a verb instead of a noun. Hope you don't mind!

Caleb recently learned to button and unbutton his own clothes, which is a pretty big deal. He tends to get very frustrated with tasks that require fine motor skills, and dressing himself has been a sore spot in our mornings for months. The only reason I've still encouraged it is primarily because I know he needs that skill. Trust me, I'd rather avoid the tantrum and save myself five to ten minutes of my morning by just dressing him myself.

Fortunately, his preschool teacher has more patience in this area than I do. Between our work at home and his work with his teacher, Caleb has come a loooooong way in the last six months. Not only is he buttoning and unbuttoning shirts and pants now...


He's also putting on his own shoes! (Shoes have been a nightmare in the mornings!)


No, I do not know what that is on the bottom of his shoe. Yes, it does look like gum.

Putting on Shoes

But notice that intense look of concentration! The firm set of the jaw, the dark gaze, the smoke rising! ;)

Did it!

Yeah, buddy! You did it! What a good start to the day!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

February Photo A Day - Dinner

So yesterday I spent approximately four hours in the kitchen making homemade tomato sauce that, quite frankly, was mediocre.

Now it's not my first time making a less than stellar dinner. In fact, I've become pretty good friends with mediocre meals over the years. But to have spent FOUR! HOURS! on my feet in the kitchen to produce something that I didn't LOVE was, to this home chef, devastating. It literally put me in a funk the rest of the night. I woke up this morning and made a boring bowl of oatmeal because I was so heart broken at not kicking that sauce's butt, I couldn't even find the energy to fry an egg.

(I think my two biggest issues were a.) it's not tomato season, and b.) this recipe really wasn't what I was looking for in a tomato sauce.)

Anyway, I have good news! I have redeemed myself in the kitchen! Thank goodness, because I was almost ready to hang up my apron.


I've been on a huge Pinterest kick lately. Pinterest just speaks to my soul. It makes me want to TRY things all the time! I realize I'm still relatively new to it, so I'm experiencing the honeymoon/novelty phase of it. But if every honeymoon phase produced as many good recipes as I've found on Pinterest, I'd be thrilled!

Tonight I made Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Salsa Verde from with a side of Spanish rice from Rice-a-Roni. (Hey, a girl's gotta eat sometime before 8 pm!) While a tad time consuming for a weeknight meal, the results were worth it.

I loved the chicken and bean filling, and the salsa verde on top was delicious. I think the recipe could use a bit more heat, but that might be because my jalapenos were a bit mild. The only thing I'd do differently is saute the jalepenos with the onions for the sauce, instead of adding them in at the end. I wasn't a huge fan of crunching down on my jalapenos.
Unfortunately, I was so hungry by the time they came out of the oven, I forgot to snap a picture of it in all it's glory before I started shoving my face full of food! D'oh! So you'll have to settle for this, the leftovers.


Oh, man, leftovers, I can't wait for tomorrow! Enjoy your rest tonight, 'cause I'm gonna tear you up at around 12:00 in the office break area while watching Steve Harvey host Family Feud! It's on like Donkey Kong!

February Photo A Day - 10:00

This is where I was at 10:00 am yesterday.


But due to a particularly depressing result from a new recipe, I couldn't be bothered to actually post it yesterday. I was in a post-cooking funk.

This isn't related at all, but it did make me laugh. Spied at the local Food Lion while waiting to check out. I was WONDERING where they had moved the disco balls!


Sunday, February 05, 2012

February Photo A Day - Stranger

I'm cheating. I chickened out and didn't take any pictures of strangers today. I almost did the grocery store, but I felt creepy, so I didn't.

So here's my cheat picture instead.


Made Caleb pose today for a Valentine's Day card idea I got from Pinterest. This one won't work for the card, but it was too cute not to share.

Tomorrow's theme is 10:00. We'll see if I can do better sticking to the theme!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

February Photo A Day - Hands

Caleb struggled with his fine motor skills for a while. Just in the last 2-3 months, he's really made great strides in this area, including drawing and writing. His preschool teacher has really been working with him on things like writing, button shirts, zipping pants, putting on shoes--all things that have brought on melt downs at home when we try to tackle them.

Caleb Drawing

Watching him write his name (albiet backwards) is still amazing to me. That little marshmellow of a baby has grown into such a big little boy! At school this week, he counted to 40 for me! Fourty! At karate tonigth, he counted to 10 in Japanese with no assistance from his Sensei!

Those little hands are getting so big. At least they aren't too big to hold my hand yet.

Friday, February 03, 2012

February Photo A Day - Words

I went to a luncheon today in which we took the True Colors personality test. I took this test just a couple of years ago while overseas, and I tested the same this time. I'm a blue.

True Colors

It's strange. I took a conflict style assessment last summer that really threw me for a loop. At the end of the assessment, I ranked really low in assertiveness, which I never thought I had a problem with before. But I do tend to value harmony, and will sometimes feel like a confrontation is just not worth the fuss. Conflict takes a lot of emotional energy, and sometimes I just can't be bothered.

Having said that, I have noticed that while I may not address the issue at the time, sometimes it continues to bother me later. I mean, this isn't news to me. What is news is how often it occurs. 'Cause I'm assertive, gosh darnit! Aren't I? At leat, I thougtht I was...

Thursday, February 02, 2012

February Photo A Day - Bird's Nest Breakfast Cup

Since my committment to blog more in 2012 has not generated as many blog entries as I had hoped, I'm reaching for another photo challenge in the hopes that this will bring back my blogging mojo.

So as stolen from a friend of an internet friend, I'm jumping on to Fat Mum Slim's February Photo a Day challenge. I like that this one has some guidelines/suggestions for shots, so hopefully I can make it 29 days!


Today's guideline was "Your view today." I thought about taking a shot at work, but the dry, dead field outside my window is less than picturesque right now. And I'm a bit weirded out about sharing a photo of my desk on my blog. (Private Facebook picture while desk is decorated for Christmas? Yes. Public blog?  Not so much.) Tonight flew by and I realized, "Nuggets! I need a pic for today!"

Fortunately, my Pinterest obsession is saving me today. This morning, I snapped this shot of a Bird's Nest Breakfast Cup  I made. Pinterest has really be spurring the kitchen creativity again and making me enjoy cooking. It comes and goes in waves for me, and having a new, interesting recipe always inspires me to throw on my apron!

Breakfast Nest

This one was pretty good. I think next time I'll use my hand seasoning standby, Tony Chacere's creole seasoning (family favorite) instead of standard salt and pepper. And I heartily beleive that each cup could use a splash of hot sauce, but this is easy to remedy at the end of preparation. Also, I'll probably make these ahead if I do them again. Too time consuming for a weekday morning, that's for sure.

Having said that, I liked them enough to eat them for breakfast and dinner today! Hey, anytime a recipe calls for bacon and cheese, I know I'm heading to a happy place!