Thursday, August 30, 2012

August 2012 - Pinterest Inspirations

Beef Stroganoff Casserole - This was just okay. I thought it was way too tomato-y to be very stroganoff-y. Not bad, more like a creamy spaghetti; just not what I was after in terms of taste.

Mexican Stuffed Shells - These were quite good, and not as fussy as I was afraid they might be. DH didn't care for the cream cheese in them, so I might try to tweak the recipe. Nice idea, though.

Butter Steamed New Potatoes - I quartered my potatoes and left out the parsley, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. These were excellent! And they didn't fall apart like the russets did with the last butter stewed recipe I tried. Can't wait to make them again.

Oven Roasted Pork Tenderloin (technique) by Plain Chicken - I tried this technique, and it just made a huge mess in my oven and a ton of smoke. Had to open two doors and three windows to not set off my smoke detector. Not sure if I used too much oil or what. It was moist and good, but not worth the mess and smoke. I won't be trying this technique again.

Easy Steak Marinade | Plain Chicken - This marinade was really good and easy. We used it on pork tenderloin instead of steak, but I think it would be very good on steak, too. Yum!

Best Meatloaf Ever - Not sure about best ever, but this was quite good. It's missing a little something I can't quite put my finger on. The only changes I made were using half ground beef/half ground pork and sweating the onions in just a little olive oil before mixing them with the meat. Will probably keep this recipe and tweak it a bit (likely 1/3 pork and 2/3 beef next time).

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff (Freezer Meal) - This was better than the stroganoff casserole we tried, but I thought this was a little bland. Needed some more flavor, but I'm not quite sure what was missing. Still looking for "the right one."

Crock-pot Barbecue Chicken - This was okay. Prefer Kirkland pulled pork, but also looking for something healthier. Thought the vinegar was a little strong, so would probably not use as much next time. Also thought a full bottle of sauce for 4 chicken breasts was too much. Would use 1/2-2/3 next time.

Currently feeling: well pinned for another month


DH is now a Bridge Design Group Leader! He interviewed for the position several weeks ago, but it was just announced yesterday. We've actually known for a couple of weeks, but we were asked not to say anything until it had been announced at the office. Turns out that there was a small reorganization also in the works, so they waited to officially announce his promotion in the office until the details of the reorg were hammered out (nothing major, just a little reshuffling of who reports to whom since they've had several promotions and new hires recently).

The group he is now leading is actually his own group. His current group leader is retiring at the end of this month. She is the only manager he has ever worked for, and we will miss her very much. Her husband, a Georgia Tech professor, retired a couple of years ago, so I know they will be off doing all kinds of fun things. I wish them both all the best!
Currently feeling: so proud

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

2012 Project 365 Update

Sorry for the radio silence (other than Wordless Wednesday pictures). Just not much to say right now. Unless you want to hear about our dead microwave? Yeah, didn't think so (especially since we've already replaced it). School is.... going. Already tired of homework. ::sigh:: Still trying to settle in to a weekly routine, which isn't helped by the fact that we're trying to fit in some new activities, some of which haven't officially started yet, so "the routine" is still evolving. We should have at least two new activities in the next week or two, so that might generate some blog-worthy material.

In the meantime, I thought you might want to see some (other) pretty pictures. For those who do not follow my Project 365 blog, you used to see the mosaics of each month when I posted my monthly round ups. You know, the ones I haven't done since January, and now that August is nearly over, I'm not sure I'm going to even attempt to go back and make them up. We'll see. I've missed a few days, particularly at the end of May, but I've still taken enough photos to cover each day with something different. Generating the mosaics is fairly quick, so I whipped those up to give me something to blog about for you to see. I've only fiddled and twiddled with pictures through July (I am so behind on so many things!), and not even all of the individual photos for July are on the 365 blog yet, so you're getting a bit of a sneak peak at those. Each of these is clickable if you want to see a larger version. Hope you enjoy!








Currently feeling: well photographed

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

How about a nice game of chess?

So, this happened this evening in my dining room. I don't know why he's shown a sudden interest in chess. Maybe because they're promoting chess club at school? Anyway, he was very impressed when DH mentioned that we had a real chess board. It was actually a gift from me to DH for (I think) our first Christmas. Never in my wildest dreams when I purchased it did *this* scene cross my mind. Love!

Currently feeling: much better than global thermonuclear war

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

First Day of Second Grade

So grown up! Do I say that every year? I sure feel like it. But I mean it every year, too! (Also, you may notice that I am using slightly larger pictures. Please let me know if this causes any problems with how the blog displays and/or loads. Thanks!)

First, the obligatory full body and close up shots:

And because it still just blows my mind, a comparison with his first day of school picture from first grade. These are pretty close in terms of similar angles and cropping.

Star *really* wanted to be in the pictures this morning! We kept having to shoo her away, but I took one just to humor her (and Luke).

And off we go! Hope it will be a great year for him!!

Currently feeling: so proud!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Olympics - London 2012 - Closing Weekend

The 2012 Summer Olympics in London have come to an end. As much as I love them, that's probably a good thing. I've stayed up *way* too late every night for the last two weeks watching them! With school back in action on Monday, we all need to start going to bed earlier.  I have to admit, I enjoy the swimming more than the track and field for some reason. It's fine, just not as fun for me as swimming. Luke loved the BMX (no surprise there), and he really liked the platform diving as well. I never cease to be amused and amazed at what inspires him:

I picked up my last few stickers as well. Missed out on sailing and boxing, but I did "earn" the rest of the ones that were offered.

And I think that will do it for 2012. See you in Sochi, Russia, in February 2014!

Currently feeling: olympic

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Super Summer 2012 - Mission Log, Day 16

Our final day of Super Summer 2012 got a bit derailed. Morning plans were interrupted by a phone call that my entire family has literally been waiting months for. Here is the corresponding screen shot from the front page of the Georgia Southern University website.

That would be my little brother on the right. This grant was 16 months in the making, and is one of the (possibly THE) largest research grant ever awarded to Georgia Southern University. Per the press release: "Georgia Southern University’s Rural Health Research Institute (RHRI) has been awarded a $5.1 million grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) designating the RHRI as a Center of Excellence for the Elimination of Rural Health Disparities. The grant, one of the largest research grants recently awarded to Georgia Southern, was received by RHRI Co-Executive Directors Bryant Smalley, Ph.D, Psy.D. and Jacob Warren, Ph.D. Smalley is a clinical psychologist in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and Warren is an epidemiologist in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health." Full press release here.

And while I'm bragging on Jacob, his first book was published this summer. It is an academic book, not really intended for the general public, but still pretty cool to find your brother on Amazon!

Rural Mental Health

We were supposed to have lunch with my husband, but DH got tied up in a meeting, and my phone call with Jacob lasted until just after noon anyway. Luke and I made do on our own for lunch, and he played Wii for a bit while I showered. I really wanted to hit Steak 'n Shake Happy Hour again for our last day of summer, so we headed out around 2 PM.

Playing with depth of field.

We should have been home around 3-3:15 PM to do the shaving cream painting, but this happened.

Um, no thanks. We'll just hang out at Steak 'n Shake for a bit until the worst blows over. Which took nearly 30 minutes! At one point, it was raining so hard that we couldn't see the Dunkin' Donuts across the street. My phone didn't have much charge left, but it lasted just long enough to entertain Luke as we waited for the storm to mostly pass. Traffic was, of course, a nightmare, even on the side streets we were taking. We got home at 3:50, which is just 10 minutes before DH usually gets home, though it was more like 4:15 when he finally got there. So, not much in the way of new activities this week, but still a (mostly) pleasant end to the summer. School starts Monday! (EEK!!)

This is Luke and Erin, signing off, for the final mission of Super Summer 2012.

Currently feeling: drowned